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Alexis P. Suter Band - Two Sides

14 Tracks

I’m not dyslexic but it’s true that I don’t always wear my glasses. So, for the longest, I thought it was the Alex P Suter Band. Then someone referred to her as “she.” That’s when I reread the CD jacket and saw that the first name is “Alexis” not “Alex!” Then I listened to the CD. She has a deep alto or baritone voice which did not help my confusion one bit since she is the lead singer. Thank goodness for the likes of YouTube, Vimeo, and other sites that provide a next best thing to being there experience. She is indeed an Alexis with a baritone voice.

The title of the new CD is Two Sides. The design consists of a cross on a church, a utility pole, and Alexis P Suter with outstretched arms and her iconic top hat, all symbolic of steeples. Two Sides is not a gospel CD per se. There are gospel songs as well as secular songs. The secular songs are of the variety that I call “truth” songs. That is, songs about life, strife, and doing right by your fellow man. The Staple singers sang “truth” songs. An example of an Alexis P Suter Band truth song is “Marathon.” There is no explanation of the title or symbolism in the liner notes so I suppose that one is to come to one’s own conclusions. Therefore, I conclude that the two sides are gospel and truth.

In describing truth songs as life strife and doing right by your fellow man, that description includes relationships between men and women, because if that’s not life and strife, nothing is. “All Over Again” is one of those songs. It’s a “this time is the last time and I mean it this time” song. “Part Time Feeling” is another of that genre. The melody of “Only I” reminds me of “Do Right Woman” by Aretha Franklin. The message here is: one has to love oneself first. “Savior” has a similar message in that you can’t look to someone else to save you. “Let It Flow” is about loyalty, friendship, and agape. It, “Free,” and the aforementioned “Marathon,” are on the truth side. One favorite is “Rise” with its message of letting no one keep you down. The music has an almost slinky feel. My absolute favorite is “Just The Same.” It is smoky, breathy, and mellow. She ends the CD with a raggish stalker song, “Drama.”

There are covers of traditional songs “Didn’t it Rain,” and “John The Revelator,” as well as a fine rendition of Bob Dylan’s “Knocking On Heaven’s Door.” The rest are written by Alexis P Suter and/or members of the band.

The band is really GOOD. These are top notch musicians who mesh well together forming a tight sound that complement Alexis P Suter’s deep baritone voice.

Reviewer Sheralyn Graise graduated from the University of Akron a while back. A former Social Services professional, she is now pursuing other interests such as music history, writing, and photography. She has been a member of the Blues Foundation since 2001.

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