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G Jai’s Jook Joint LLC
10 Songs; 34:46 Minutes; Meritable
Styles: Female Vocal Led Blues; Classic Female Blues
I have recently received several CDs from women claiming to be “Blues Artists.” Which of the following choices of titles and phrases seem to be authentic Blues to You?
Choice number five is by G Jai from Detroit, and this woman has grit, determination, attitude, and sass – and that is a good thing! Born in 1968, this lady is anything but timid. What you hear from her is raw emotion and feeling. Need more proof? Try these lyrics, “I was born in the ‘hood, but I’m not hardcore. I got sex appeal oozing from every little bitty pore; got a sharp mouth and a whole lot of sass. If you don’t like my style, you can kiss my chocolate ass!”
More insight into G Jai’s approach comes from her liner notes, “I won’t pretend I know everything about the Blues.... It’s about having the dignity to get up from the ground, dust yourself off and walk proud even after falling flat on your face! ... that’s damn sho’ what it’s about to me.”
The CD’s ten songs are a combination of G Jai originals and revamped covers of early 1920s songs, two of which were sung by the legendary Alberta Hunter (“Chirping the Blues” and “Down Hearted Blues”). “I Got the Blues...All Because of You” hearkens back to the times when women reigned supreme in the Blues world. G'Jai has taken inspiration and gives proper recognition to the fore-mothers of the blues. "You can't look to the future without embracing your past!" says G'Jai.
The set opens with “Little Lady from Detroit” with her lyrics done to the music and rhythm of Muddy Water’s “Hootchie Cootchie Man.” The song is an excellent opener to introduce the listener to G Jai and her sharp witted style and spunk. For example, [my five older sisters] “they taught me well; [I] stand up for my self. You don’t like it? Go to hell; you know I’m here....”
Joining G Jai in the M3 Studios are Bryan Richard Pope – lead and rhythm guitars, Eddie Kohen – bass, Daniel Williams – drums/percussion, Don Jones – sax and flute, Harold Price – harmonica, and Bob Madgett – keyboards. Guitar fans may be a little disappointed due to Pope’s string work being kept in the background as the emphasis is on the vocals. Listen closely though because the cat is really wailing back in there.
“Shut Yo Flap” has a bouncy rhythm and is catchy as a cold. “Shut your pie-hole, and step the hell back” (in this review’s first paragraph above) derives from this number sung to a clueless flap-jawed female and supposed friend.
“If You Want to Keep Your Daddy Home” by Grainger and Ricketts in 1923 gives every woman some advice, which may or may not be good advice. For example, “If your loving ways don’t keep him home, I’ll tell you just what to do. Get a stick and hit him across his dome; let him know just who is who. If your rough treatment fails you then... there’s a way you can call his hand: let him see you hug and kiss another man. That’s my policy, and it may -- help you keep your daddy home to stay....” Attempting jug band style, the mid song slide guitar solo sound is so unique that on first listen, I thought it was a kazoo.
Fans of vocals sung by strong females will find G Jai entertaining and worthy of your attention.
Reviewer James "Skyy Dobro" Walker is a noted Blues writer, DJ, Master of Ceremonies, and longtime Blues Blast Magazine contributor. His weekly radio show "Friends of the Blues" can be heard Saturdays 8 pm - Midnight on WKCC 91.1 FM and at www.wkccradio.org in Kankakee, IL. To See James “Skyy Dobro” Walker's CD rating system, CLICK HERETo submit a review or interview please contact: