10 tracks: 44 minutes
This is more of a comeback release for this very talented lead singer Teresa Watson. Well known in the North East of England pub and club scenes, she gave up singing after twenty years to recharge her batteries. Unfortunately this forced retirement as such lasted six years but now she is back with a vengeance. She put together a new band by calling in Paul Donaldson on keyboards first as he has played with her previously. The other three members are from a former local band called The Groove-A-Matics. They are award winning blues guitarist John Whitehill (Paul Lamb And The Kingsnakes), Barry Race on drums and John Morgan on bass guitar. Certainly a very good combination , a very professional band with very slick and intricate tones.
All the songs are covers, mostly blues and soul with definite influences from Bonnie Raitt and Koko Taylor. Teresa is a very powerful singer but not a blues shouter as such. Her delivery of songs has a passion that marries well with the rest of the band. They harmonize on the opener by Randel and Mitchell, “Come To Mamma”. Sultry and sassy singing but not over the top. The band comes together on the Don Robey tune “You Got Me Where You Want Me” with some sweet guitar licks. Her vocals on the Lee Roy Parnell tune “Breaking Down Slow” drips with emotion and soft tones. There is a laid back approach to the Z.Z. Hill track, “Down Home Blues”. It is on the stunning version of “Leap Of Faith” that old Gary Nicholson tune where Teresa excels though. A stand out track and possibly a self reflective tune.
The interpretation of “Angel From Montgomery” the John Prine tune, flows like a mighty river. The piano playing on this is very simple but so effective and mirrors the vocals well. “I Just Wanna Make Love To You” by Willie Dixon has been covered to extremes but it rolls along nicely on this version.
The eighth track is the best tune. “Married To The Blues” by John Hahn has the hallmarks of a classic. It is a punchy tug at the heartstrings version and a real crowd pleaser. The vocal range on this one is stunning. “Love Me Like A Man” the Chris Smither cover is a plea from the heart, sung with venom. The interpretation of most of these twelve tracks is like that but done very subtly. The release closes with “Need Your Love So Bad”, the Mertis John Junior classic. This is given an exquisite makeover that fades out well.
A very good debut release , instrumentation and singing first class. watch out world Teresa Watson is back and meaning business.