Malaya Blue – Bourbon Street | Album Review

malayabluecdMalaya Blue – Bourbon Street

Mad Ears Productions

Fourteen tracks with a running time of 56:45

Just the mere words “Bourbon Street” conjure up different memories for different areas of the world. It would seem that every major city in the world has a Blues club named for the real deal in New Orleans, LA.

Malaya Blue opens Bourbon Street with an ode to the most famous party street in the world. With a slow tempo Blues delivery Blue gives us her interpretation of NOLA with a soft, sultry delivery that would be welcome to the Big Easy and all of its nuances, presence and passion. Fans of Mick Simpson might recognize his songwriting style and lead guitar delivery on this tune (shares writing credits with Andy Littlewood and M. Ashforth) that has a Gary Moore feel to it. There is also a great video of the song on the Mad Ears Productions web site.

On track 2, “Forgiveness”, we are again treated to clean guitar leads by Simpson. Who doesn’t deserve a little forgiveness in their lives? Blue’s voice drips with emotion here while pleading for forgiveness for some past transgression to a man she seems almost afraid to approach with her plea. Another entertaining video of this song is on .

Things pick up a bit on track 4, “Lost Girl”, with some horns in the background provided by The MEP Collective. With a forceful, somewhat Rock driven, beat Blue provides proof that her voice is comfortable in many Blues settings and can make your toes tap when she wants to.

“Bluesville U.K.” (track 7) is a mid-tempo shuffle that combines Blue’s voice, A. Littlewood’s guitar work, brass, and harmonica by Dave Hunt. The mix makes a statement for Blues in the U.K. while treating the listener to some Dixieland driven brass mixed in with some harmonica that works well here.

Track 9, “Guilty” is a song most of us can relate to. Most of us have been in a relationship where there comes a point where one starts accusing another of transgressions that are either real or imagined. With lyrics like “I say you do – you say you don’t…” one gets the message quickly that things are breaking down. With Mick Simpson providing some clean, capable, chronically good guitar licks this number stands out as one of the best examples of the talents on this recording.

Malaya Blue’s voice is the main engine driving this album and rightfully so. Her voice is sensually sexy with a range that few vocalists can match. When that voice is matched with the songwriting and instrumental excellence here the listener can’t lose. All fourteen songs here are originals with some straight ahead Blues, some Blues-rock with a little Jazz thrown in to complete the mix.

Songwriting credits go to Andy Littlewood and M. Ashforth for all songs except track 1, “Bourbon Street” that was written by Littlewood, Ashforth and Mick Simpson and track 5, “Lady Sings the Blues” which shows A. Littlwood as the sole contributor. Further credits (as listed on CD cover) go to: Malaya Blue – lead vocals and backing vocals, Andy Littlewood – guitars, keyboards, bass, and backing vocals, Mick Simpson – lead guitar on tracks 1, 2, 6, 9, 11, and 13, Giovanni Bruno – guitar on tracks 5 and 10, The MEP Collective – horns and brass, and Dave Hunt – harmonica on track 7. Bourbon Street was produced and engineered by Andy Littlewood.

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