Self-Release – 2017
11 tracks; 49 minutes
Susan Williams is an experienced musician on the Illinois scene, having fronted her own band for many years. In this latest incarnation she has joined forces with Darryl Wright who is described as ‘lead bassist’ and, as Susan also plays bass we have an unusual twin-bass set-up. The other band members are Mike Gallemore on guitar and B/V’s and Rob Davis on drums; Michael Cruse adds keys to six tracks. Susan wrote all bar two of the songs here (with Darryl credited for the arrangements) and Mike contributed the other two.
Susan has a pleasant, clear voice and carries the tunes well, the music being mainly melodic with some blues and a touch of jazz in the bass leads on songs like the mellow “I’m Sorry”. Opener “Tell Me You Love Me” has solid lyrics but little blues content and would not be out of place on albums by bands like Heart or later period Fleetwood Mac, Mike adding a nicely poised solo. “I Love What You Do” adds some slide to the first of Darryl’s very effective bass leads while “Shame On You” is an uptempo shuffle in which Susan realizes that she has not been well treated while “Loving You From A Distance” adds piano and weeping guitar to a ballad with sensitive lyrics about keeping the flame alive in difficult circumstances.
Indeed there seems to be something of a theme developing here, as “Meet Me In The Middle” demands compromise in the relationship as Mike plays a ringing solo over Michael’s organ work and Darryl adds another of his trademark bass outings. Maybe the guy did not heed those warnings as Susan has definitely had enough of him in the jump/swing tune “You’ve Got Another Think Coming” and concludes the ‘suite’ of relationship problem songs with “Too Little, Too Late” which just about sums things up! The band sounds good here with rolling bass, sweet guitar and quiet rhythm work to suit the ‘down’ feel of the song.
“Please Come Back To Me” does not change the lyrical mood much as Susan regrets the lost lover though Mike does play some fine blues guitar on this one. Mike’s other contribution “Keep Moving On” is a rockier affair musically as Susan decides that life is too short to put up with difficult people, best to let it go and move on.
Whilst the album is lyrically mostly about failing relationships the music is polished and well played. The dual bass idea seems to work and Darryl’s melodic approach to soloing fits nicely with Mike’s subtle touch on guitar and, with Susan’s clear voice, this is a very pleasant listen. Not all blues, but enough to get blues fans interested.