Annika Chambers – Kiss My Sass
Annika Chambers is a sassy Texas powerhouse of a vocalist who offers up ten cool tracks for the listener to savor. After winning the 2019 Blues Music Award for Female Soul Blues Singer (after three other BMa nominations to boot) the world is really getting to know this talented chanteuse. She has a powerful voice, effuses personality with every lyric and delivers the goods each and every song. This is her third CD with some slick originals and well-done covers for a total of ten really good cuts.
The sassy set begins with “Let That Sass Out,” a number with attitude and a great way to start an album. Chambers sings with authority, Corey Stoot and The Mighty Orq lays out some mean guitar and we are underway! Credit to RB Stone for a cool song, too. “That’s What You Made Me” is next, an angry but sultry cut with Jame Wilhite and the Might Orq on guitar. Chambers sings about what her man made her into, and she’s not too happy about the situation. Nicoya Polar does a fine job backing her here and on the prior and next cuts as Chambers emotes nicely and the guitars wail in support. Following that is “You Can’t Win;” this is a mid- to up-tempo cut with David Carter nailing his solo on guitar. Chambers showcases her skills once again as she builds to a big finish. Ruthie Foster appears on acoustic guitar and back Annika on vocals here and The Mighty Orq plays some creative pedal steel guitar on “What’s Your Thing,” a beautiful and slow blues where Chambers takes us to church with the pleas for, “Love, freedom, and peace.” This is one of the coolest cuts on the CD. “Brand New Day” is a slow original written by Chambers with some sweet vocals, pretty keys by Randy Wall and slick guitar by The Mighty Orq. Chambers sings with restraint but still lets some of that raw power emerge.
“World Of Hurt” is next, with Wilhite on guitar and Orq on resonator. The solos sting and Chambers sings with lots of power and emotion. Wilhite opens “Stay” and then Wall on piano and Stephanie York Blue on the B3 with Chambers come in for a soulful performance. Anthony Terry is on sax here where he really stands out and Chambers just lets it all out for us. Up next ot “Two Bit Texas Town,” with Terry again on sax and Barry Seleen on the B3. This is a slick Angeli Strehli song and Chambers and company do a fine job covering it. Chambers ooohs and gasps and gives quite an interesting performance. “In The Basement” has more strident guitar from Carter and Tony Braunagel joins the fray on drums and backing vocals along with bassist Larry Fulcher doing backing vocals. Wall on keys adds to the mix, too in this party of a song. The album concludes with Chris Smither’s “I Feel The Same.” Chambers’ hubby Paul DesLauriers joins her on acoustic guitar and vocals along with Sam Harrison on percussion in this stripped down but very nicely done number. Chambers sings with ardent emotions and Paul joins in for this pretty duet. His finger picking is pretty darn good, too. Things build and build to a frenzy and then a calmness comes to conclude the tune- well done!
The guests and performers vary from cut to cut, but whoever is on each track does a stellar job backing this singer up. After discovering her voice in the Army (or maybe the Army discovering her voice), she is well on her way to a fine career singing the blues! This Houston, Texas talent really has a lot going for her and anyone who likes soul blues will find something to seriously enjoy here!