Lady Bianca Thornton’s latest effort is a short but interesting set of tunes delivered by a woman with a powerful voice. Six originals, an Otis Redding number and a traditional tune are featured here. When Bianca is singing, the show is smoking.
Along with Ms. Thornton are Billy Young on organ, Charles Spikes on guitar, Oshmin Oden on bass, Joey Truso on drums, Juan Escovedo on percussion, Nancy Wright on sax, and Paul Lozano on backing vocals. Bianca sings and narrates, plays piano and clavinet and also does backing vocals.
The soulful and funky original “Missing You” starts things off on the album. Bianca’s empathy and emotions are deep as she lays her heart out here. Nice organ and guitar work give this a Philadelphia sort of feel to it and I liked it a lot. Redding’s “These Arms of Mine Follow” and Bianca gives the cut her own special interpretation. Her breathy vocals and intense feelings really grab the listener. She plays the piano in support of her vocals and it’s quite cool; a very restrained guitar and support by the band maintain the feeling she is trying to achieve. “I Know You Don’t” is another soulful and dark song full of feelings from broken relations. Bianca again lets her emotions come out as she delivers an outstanding performance. “Party Like You Wanna” is a spoken cut. Bianca gives us an almost stream of consciousness sort of dialogue that encompasses virtually the entire song. While it was cool, I thought it was a bit much as the dialogue went on for over four and half minutes.
Bianca opens the next cut with about three minutes of spoken dialogue with “You’ll Be Leaving With Her.” However, she also delivers another four minutes of very deep and soulful vocals in another heartfelt original number. “This Time I’m Gone For Good” was co written by Thornton and she delivers a very gritty performance. Spikes’ guitar solo and overall work her is also spectacular and the backing organ is quite cool, too. “Frying Pan” is the last soul number and the first and only real up tempo cut (not that that matters). Bianca sings about a relation where she’s gone “out of the frying pan and into the fire.” A great groove and more well done support make for another sweet tune. The sax really burns it up on this number, too. Lady Bianca closes by taking us to church. “Woke Up This Morning With My Mind Stayed On Jesus” is a beautiful performance filled with real feeling. I was really moved by her work on this one. She goes on for eight minutes but it’s eight minutes well spent in soulful praise.
While I’m not a huge fan of spoken cuts, they may be your cup of tea. It’s not mine but I can’t say that that sort of stuff is bad- Bianca really gets into it. Her singing, however, is spectacular and if I have a real complaint it’s that there is only about 38 minutes of music here. The good thing is that Thornton packs a helluva lot of soul and feeling into 8 cuts over the 38 minutes. I enjoyed this CD and any lover of well done soul and blues will too!