Saffire – The Uppity Blues Women - Havin’ The Last Word
16 songs; 58:26; Library Quality
While Saffire – The Uppity Blues Women are “Havin’ the Last Word,” they have left us with a gem of an enjoyable album. A final CD could have been a quickie knockoff, but here are 16 full songs running almost an hour. All the ingredients we have come to expect from them are present from songs about the female body, romance won and lost, cancer survival, feminism, and shameless lust to terrific vocals supported by barrelhouse piano, guitar, mandolin, Dobro, fiddle, upright bass and harmonica. All that is encompassed in blues songs that are sing-along infectious, funny, passionate, rollicking and soulful, and the highest standards are maintained in recording quality, performance, and production.
The CD opens with a true band-approach on the upbeat “Going Down To the River” where each one sings a verse and then join in three part harmony on the chorus. Instrumentally, the song opens with Andra Faye’s mandolin underscored by Ann Rabson on piano and Gaye Adegbalola on rhythm acoustic guitar.
Agree or disagree: “I’d rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not.” It’s your choice, but this line is found in “Nothin’ in Your House” which is a perfect example of sass from these strong willed women who have always exuded the idea, “Tain’t nobody’s business what I do!” Try these lyrics sung by Gaye, “...when I get liquored up or drink Jose [tequila], Lord, you never know what I might do or what I might say....”
“His jelly roll is so nice and hot; never fails to hit the spot...his frankfurter is oh so sweet; how I like his sausage meat / I can’t do without my kitchen man.” Yep, there are the smile inducing double entendres we have come to enjoy; these are found in Bessie Smith’s “Kitchen Man” and sung huskily by Ann Rabson.
The most surprising number is Andra Faye’s, “Blue Lullaby.” It’s a beautifully sung, slower tear-jerker of a song reminiscent of Linda Ronstadt’s “Blue Bayou.” Gaye plays harmonica and does a great harp solo in the middle.
Other standouts include “Bald Headed Blues” reflecting a positive approach to surviving cancer,the salacious close-shaver “Bald Eagle,” and humorous numbers “I Can Do Bad All by Myself” and “Too Much Butt” featuring the line, “If my zipper could talk, you know it would scream, ‘too much butt for one pair of jeans.’”
While it is a shame to see them go, at least Saffire – The Uppity Blues Women have left us with a classic disc befitting their notable legacy.
Reviewer James “Skyy Dobro” Walker is
a noted Blues writer, DJ and Blues Blast contributor. His weekly
radio show “Friends of the Blues” can be heard each Thursday from
4:30 – 6:00pm on WKCC 91.1 FM in Kankakee, IL