Heather Newman – Rise From the Flames | Album Review

Heather Newman Band – Rise From the Flames

VizzTone Records


CD: 13 songs, 54:47 minutes

There has been a resurgence of bands with female lead singers. For a good period of time, with the exception of some “Girl Bands”, we had the Wilson sisters in Heart and Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac (please forgive for omission of any other girl singers).

Heather Newman is leading the comeback of female fronted bands.  From the stand point of musicians are a good as the best of them.  Newman plays a mean bass and along with drummer Adam Watson on the bottom end. Keith Ladd plays some outstanding guitar while Ryan Matthew handles keyboards, backing vocals and percussion.

Rise From the Flames is the second album from the Heather Newman Band. Their first effort Burn Me Alive garnered a pair of Blues Blast Music Award wins: Best New Artist Debut Album and Sean Costello Rising Star Award. Newman’s debut was also nominated by the Blues Foundation for Best Emerging Artist Album.

Rise From the Flamesis not straight Blues.  There  are elements of soul, a little funk and jazz in these songs (all with blues roots). Heather Newman’s vocals shine brightest.  She shows a wide range and the ability to sing several song styles.

The new album is all original tunes. The opening tract “Coming for You” has a driving bass line and a soulful sound.  Keith Ladd’s guitar solo starts jazzy then adds some funk.

On “Zakary” Michael LeFever on sax and Teddy Krulewich on trumpet add a good soul sound. “She Sure Looks A lot Like Me” is a slow blues number with outstanding vocals from Ms. Newman. “You Mean to Tell Me” is a jazzy number with blues lyrics.

The title track “Rise From the Flames” has a southern Texas feel that builds to Keith Ladd’s outstanding guitar solo. Heather’s bass comes through strong on “Water and Wine”, a slow blues song with a good guitar solo. “Lonely on Beale” is another jazzy blues song.  If you have been on Beale Street in Memphis without your significant other you will enjoy this tune.

“Take it Slow” has more “Pop” sound than any others on the disc. Ryan Matthew’s piano solo is a top notch ivory tickling. The horns add a soulful  sound in “Coming Home” with a tinge of late 60’s funky groove. The album ends with “What Goes Around” which is a laid back jazz song.

Overall it was an enjoyable listen.  The band is tight and work well together. Heather Newman’s voice is a joy to hear.

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