Regina Bonelli – Open Up The Door
10 songs time-38:18
New York City native Regina Bonelli brings a beautifully powerful voice to her modern blues and R&B sound while touching on the current concerns of everyday people. The king of New York City blues Michael Hill of Michael Hill’s Blues Mob, presides over the tight production and his solid guitar skills enhance the recording and add blues cred. Regina’s voice is at once strong and clear while delivering well-crafted lyrics from her own pen. She also possesses piano and organ skills. I just wish her piano playing was utilized more throughout this record. The rhythm section provides sturdy backing and a horn section is used as needed.
The title track showcases her hearty vocals against a light and spare band backing. The song urges one to move on after getting their heart broken. Michael Hill’s guitar is sure-handed here and throughout the record. “Cybersex Blues” touches on a current subject-“It brought us together, but skin is what I choose.” The tune features slide guitar, horns, piano and harmonica by David Barnes.
Regina’s organ and Michael’s particularly fluid guitar are featured on the heart-felt “Mystical Love”. Rhythm & blues power raises it’s head in the forceful “Mama Raised A Sweet Thing”. By the time “Daddy I’m A Big Girl Now” rolls around you begin to appreciate what a smoothly powerful voice is witnessed here. Memphis-style R&B fuels the horn-laced “Single Mother, Single Life”.
“I Fell” is some exuberantly funky rhythm and blues. “Usin'” seems to be the narrator comparing her lover being lured away by another to being hooked on drugs. That’s what I get from it. It’s done up as a simmering soul ballad. The Michael Hill penned “The Very First Day” has him vocally sparring with Regina about the male in the situation hesitating on his promise to leave his wife. The instrumentation is sparse with acoustic guitar and percussion.
Regina Bonelli, Michael Hill and all involved have produced a well executed R&B, soul, funk album tempered with the blues. Regina’s confident voice paired with the producing skills of Michael Hill, Kevin Hill and Mike Griot has resulted in a finished product that deserves to be heard. Michael Hill’s talent’s on guitar are the icing on this cake. It’s refreshing to know that this kind of talent and care of recording are still in our musical world. This my friends is a definite keeper.