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Cee Cee James - Blood Red Blues

FWG Records

12 songs; 55:54 minutes

Styles: Modern Electric Blues and Roots Rock

At its core, the blues is all about passion: pouring out one’s heart, soul and troubles through music. That’s why, on Cee Cee James’ newest album, “Blood Red Blues,” she says that it’s “flowin’ heavy all through my veins!” Earning a place in the Billboard Top 15 Blues Chart on July 23rd, this CD is passionate beyond a doubt. As further evidence, Cee Cee, now based in St. Louis MO, has been dubbed “the Vocal Volcano” by Robert Horn of the Washington Blues Society. On this, her fourth CD, James presents twelve original songs that she composed along with husband Rob “Slideboy” Andrews. She and her band recorded this time under the irreplaceable production, engineering, and mixing of Jim Gaines in Tennessee. Now Cee Cee sounds completely like herself not Joplin-esque. Cee Cee and her band are out to prove to listeners that sometimes, the blues can come in an entirely different color! Three of them glow with fiery crimson intensity:

Track 01: “Blood Red Blues”--“The title track of the CD came to me while I was working out on my elliptical,” Cee Cee explains on her website, “but the song itself developed into something completely different once we hit the studio.” That “something completely different” is a sly and seductive number more suitable for the bedroom than the gym! “Slideboy” Andrews shows blues fans how he got his nickname, using magnificent slide riffs rather than words. Set drummer Chris Leighton’s teasing percussion keeps this song’s heart pumping steadily!

Track 04: “Comfort of a Good Heart”--Reminiscent of rocker Alannah Myles’ cover of “Black Velvet,” this song is just as smooth. Its imagery is delightfully cozy: “Like my hands wrapped around a warm cup of tea, like a warm sunny day on my skin, I like the comfort of a good heart….” Vicki Atkins and Danunielle “Pie” Hill provide silky background vocals, and if one listens carefully, one can hear the sustaining high notes of Susan Julian’s keyboards!

Track 09: “Walk On”--“See that beggar on the side of the road, begging for money, hungry and alone? See that girl walking the street, selling her body so her children can eat?” The world’s a mess, and Cee Cee knows it all too well. She has some gravelly-voiced ‘advice’ for people who would ignore the down-and-out: “Walk on, walk on, ‘cause what can you do? Walk on, walk on, walk on, ‘cause you’ve got your problems too….” Rocky Athas’ lead guitar roars accusations, demonstrating that a song that seems to condone complacency actually condemns it!

Joining the aforementioned musicians on these scintillating selections are Dan Mohler on bass and Stanley Crouse and Kimberlie Helton on background vocals. Cee Cee reveals on her website that, “Other than our live CD, ‘Seriously Raw’, this is the fastest I’ve ever worked to get a CD out once we hit the studio.” Enjoy the “Vocal Volcano’s” explosive, emotive eruptions of “Blood Red Blues”!

Reviewer Rainey Wetnight is a 32 year old female Blues fan. She brings the perspective of a younger blues fan to reviews. A child of 1980s music, she was strongly influenced by her father’s blues music collection.

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