Lady A – Doin’ Fine
Self Release – 2018
10 tracks; 45 minutes
Lady A is a singer from the Pacific North West who blends blues, soul, funk and gospel. She wrote most of the songs here with assistance from John Oliver III or producer Dexter Allen who plays bass and guitar throughout. Drums are by Christopher ‘Rattlesnake’ Minter or Joey Robinson who also plays piano. Paul Richardson wrote one song on which he also plays the piano solo but otherwise it is just the musicians noted above. The album was recorded at Dexter’s studio in Jackson, MS.
The title track opens the album on an autobiographical note as Lady A tells us all about her musical journey and how she is in a great place in her life, played over a thumping rhythm. There is even time for a brief reference to the 45th President to bring us right up to date! Lady A has a fine voice and it is somewhat surprising to read that her roots are in Seattle rather than the Southern states. “The Ride” has some tough guitar behind Lady A’s lyrics which warn us to “keep the faith in everything you do. You got to trust and believe because life is like a ride”. “Next Time U C Me” sounds somewhat familiar but it’s a winner with a bright soulful tune, probably this reviewer’s pick of the album. “Change The World” has positive lyrics about what each of us can do to help each other set to a classic gospel tune with excellent choral backing vocals by Lady A and Dexter who mange to sound like a full choir! With the ‘churchy’ organ sounds this is a strong track. “Roof Ova My Head” gives thanks to God for looking after us, putting a “roof over my head, clothes on my back, shoes on my feet, I truly am blessed”. In contrast “That Man” is definitely secular as Lady A gets chills thinking about the guy she loves whose call to her work distracts her completely, all played to a grooving soul/Rn’B rhythm.
Some tracks seem rather repetitious: “Throw Down” has some synth horns and handclaps over funk bass and wah-wah but rather outstays its welcome; the closing track “Glad To Know You” starts promisingly with lovely piano but although Lady A sings well the lyrics are again mainly the title repeated, as is the case also on “Tryin’ To Get Over”.
Overall a mixed bag in terms of material but Lady A has a strong voice which delivers all these kinds of songs well.