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Sharon Lewis & Texas Fire - The Real Deal

Delmark Records

13 Tracks - 59:04

Ms Lewis calls herself “The Real Deal” and on this showing, that title is well justified. She is without a doubt a challenger for the title Queen Of The Blues because, like Koko Taylor she has the ability and the voice, to move from raw, rough edged blues to sublime Gospel stylings in the blink of an eye and to do it all with a sense of humor and panache.

She is well known in and around Chicago and brings to this CD a fabulous band featuring ace Chicago axe man Dave Specter and other outstanding musicians like harp man Billy Branch. Most of the songs on the album are Sharon’s own work and there are two covers, of which more in a moment. The opener, “What’s Really Goin’ On” is a super foot-tapper with a delightful guitar break and a fiery delivery by Ms Lewis. The title track “Real Deal” comes with a fabulous horn section and a clever lyric “There’s some people who think they know all about the blues”…but Lewis has lived the life and knows the truth!

Truth and honesty abound and tracks like “Do Something For Me” and “Blues Train” (with some wonderful harp work) are worth the price of the CD alone.

Miss Lewis is a fine singer and an excellent song writer. She can clearly attract the cream of the crop of musicians to join her and she deserves the highest accolades.

I suppose the idea of including the two covers (Bill Withers, Ain’t No Sunshine” and Van Morrison’s “Crazy Love”) was to show that Ms Lewis can do soulful stuff written by other people. There was no need. Her own songs are much better and are delivered with a personal conviction that is almost tangible. By way of example, check out “Mother Love”, a delightful song delivered with commitment, fire and passion; it is wonderful!

This is an excellent follow up to “Everything’s Going To Be Alright” and is already getting air play. This release augurs well for the future: “Onward and Upward”.

Reviewer Ian McKenzie lives in England. He is the editor of Blues In The South ( a monthly flier providing news, reviews, a gig guide and all kinds of other good stuff, for people living and going to gigs along the south coast of England. Ian is also a blues performer (see and has two web-cast regular blues radio shows. One on www.phonic.FM  in Exeter (Wednesdays: 1pm Eastern/ 12 noon Central), the second on KCOR – Kansas City Online Radio (on Fridays at 1pm Eastern/ 12 noon Central).

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