Soul Suga’ & Diane Durrett | Album Review

soulsugardianedurrettcdSoul Suga’ & Diane Durrett

Blooming Tunes Music

11 tracks

Soul Suga is Diane Durrett’s seventh album since 1993.  With all originals except for one song, she shows her creative song writing and musicality in this CD.  Younrico Scott provides much of the percussive help and Melissa Massey fils in the rest.  Bass is mostly Ted Pecchio, with a little of Chris Price and hen one song each with Charlie Wooton and Gregg Shapiro.  There are several guitar and keyboard/organ players as I will note below.  Backing vocals are also varied and play a big partin setting the tone of the album.

“Show Up Sexy” gets things started.  It’s a very deep and steamy song with some funked-up guitar by Durrett and Critter Critenden and organ by Yoel B’nai Yehuida.  Durett groans and moans to set a very intimate tone.  “Butter’s In The Skillet” follows and keeps the heat on.  Nice horn work here by Lil’ Joe Burton, Daryl Dunn and Miko Bowles and Diane delivers more good vocals.  The ballad “All Is Well” is next.  Brandon Bush does nicely here on organ (as he does on the next cut) and Durrett’s vocals remain solid.  “Be Somebody’s Angel” follows, a breathy sort of mid-tempo rock/soul cut; the tenor sax impressed me here.

“Push the Push Back” opens the “Soul Suga”portion of the album as the DJ announces at the start (a little cheesy, but fun).  It reminded me a little of the Philly funky sound of the late-70’s/early-80’s/  Vibraphone, flute and a lot of support sweeting things up.  “Let Go & Let Groove” continues the retro soul.  They pull it off pretty well but then it goes sort of Donna Summer disco-like for a bit, which is not my cup of tea.  Outside of that, I liked the cut.  ”Sassy Laurue” gets off to a New Orleans-like  brassy start and is story of a big woman singer with an even bigger voice who predated Aretha.  The song is fun and the horn section from the second cut gets to show off and Oliver Woods’ guitar also shows off for us.  Tinsley Ellis makes an appearance on the bawdy “Woohoo” as Durrett tells of her issue where she’s “got a little woohoo in her hoohoo.”  Ellis gives us a subdued but still very cool solo.  “I Know Your Nothings” is a very melancholy ballad and Durrett delivers this with emotion.  Restrained and reserved all around, it’s  really well done piece.  Eric Frampton’s piano helps set the mood.  “Bright Side” is the last original cut.  Durett shows optimism in her lyrics and delivery.  She builds a bit as the song goes on and concludes with a flourish.  The album closes with the Lennon-McCartney classic “Let It Be.”  At first I thought, “Really?”  Randall Bramlett plays piano and sax and the cut works.  It remains somewhat true to the Beatle’s approach until the sax comes in.  Ike Stubblefield  adds some Hammond B-3 to go along with all this and I enjoyed it.

At first listen I was a bit unimpressed.  I must say that the album grew on me and after a few listens I really began to enjoy it.  Durrett is sometimes more of a rock than soul singer but the album takes us through a variety of styles.  If you want to hear some soul done in an approachable way with great accompanying musicians, give this a spin!


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