CD: 12 songs; 43:51 Minutes
Styles: Contemporary Electric Blues/Blues Rock
When it comes to this magazine‘s favorite music, many fans fall into one of two camps. One favors traditional styles and the ‘old’ masters, claiming that these are the true representatives of the blues. Another camp embraces modern motifs of rhythm, lyrics and vocals, claiming that relatively new blues bands are just as worthy of the title of ’blues masters’ as genre founders. Is there a happy medium between these two camps, an artist that will appeal to traditionalists and contemporary blues lovers alike? Her name is Rachelle Coba, from Wichita, Kansas, paying deep respect to “Mother Blues” on her debut album. According to her website, “Rachelle represented the Topeka Blues Society as a solo performer at the International Blues Challenge in 2013, making it to the semifinal round in Memphis, Tennessee. Previously Rachelle and her band placed first at the Wichita Blues Society’s 2011 Blues Challenge. This distinction additionally qualified her to compete in the IBC during Jan.-Feb. 2012.” Performing with her on this album are drummer Karl T. Himmel, bassists Jacob Webb and David M. Santos, guitarists Jerry Hahn and Robert Cardwell, and Ray Murry and Ron Taylor on piano and organ. Of twelve sensational songs, only one is a cover (the title track, Sam Taylor, Jr.’s “Mother Blues”). The following three are her best originals:
Track 02: “Ain’t Got Time (To Fall in Love)” – Track two is a mellow blues rock ballad in which Rachelle channels a subtle vocal undertone of Aretha Franklin. “I ain’t got time to get caught up,” she tells a potential lover. “I’m not trying to be chased. I ain’t got time to go running after you, boy. I can’t believe this is what you think I gotta do…I ain’t got time to fall in love with you.” This is an anthem for our post-courtship age of Facebook and Twitter, Tinder and OKCupid, and most of all, speed dating.
Track 06: “Telephone Song” – Purists will rejoice in sizzling number six, definitely not to be confused with Lady Gaga’s “Telephone.” “I never asked for no money,” Rachelle tells her unresponsive partner. “You never hear me asking ‘Who?’ It’s taking all your time from me, honey. You’ve got to know I have the blues…I just want to have a talk with you.” This song oozes with traditional blues, mixing vibrant instrumentation to produce a slow-tempo gem.
Track 08: “A Man Like You” – Combining blues and smooth jazz, “A Man Like You” is easy on the ears but hard on the heart: “I told you once; I told you twice. Tried so hard to make you realize. Took God six days and seven nights – it took only one for you, baby, to ruin my life.” Rachelle’s best vocals are featured here, sultry and tender at the same time.
Whether fans are devoted to traditional or modern musical interpretations, they’ll adore Mother Blues!