CD: 13 songs; 52:43 Minutes
Styles: Contemporary Electric Blues, Slow Blues, Pop, Gospel
Sometimes appearances can be deceiving. So is the cover art of Ontario, Canada’s Sunday Wilde’s third album, “He Digs Me,” currently featured at number one on SiriusXM’s station of BB King’s Bluesville. From the deep magenta color and shapes drawn on the back of the case, one might expect Wilde to have a semi-adolescently sweet voice similar to Marlo Thomas of “Free to Be, You and Me”. Wrong! She has rather deep pipes that have been toned by experience, one part Etta James with a tiny dash of Janis Joplin. With that said, her vocal versatility is low, as she sounds almost the same on each song. Not to worry. From the catchy title track to the final gospel number, Sunday shows us that what she lacks in range, she makes up for in attitude. With her as she sings and plays piano are bassist Reno Jack, guitarist Little Bobby, drummer Carol Dierking, trumpeter Bobby J. Marks, and Jimmy Wallace on saxophone. Dan Dahlin guest stars on drums on number twelve, “Crying Shame”. Overall, there are thirteen selections – ten originals and three covers (the rather unnecessary “Fall to Pieces”, Black Mountain Blues”, and “Walk With Me”. These three originals are the very tastiest pieces of musical ‘candy’:
Track 01: “He Digs Me” – Although Wilde characterizes her opening number as “pop”, this reviewer would call it smooth contemporary blues. The lyrics are simple yet unforgettable: repeating amiably: “He digs me in the morning, digs me in the night. He digs me in the evening when he holds me tight. He feels me; he loves me; he touches me on the inside and the out.” As well as providing sultry vocals, Sunday is more than ordinary on the organ, as sly as any guitar.
Track 04: “Show Me Mercy” – Ever had one of those days when waking up seems like a terrible idea? Such is the circumstance behind “Show Me Mercy”, a slow blues number with a bite: “Today the bed’s feeling mighty good, even though I know I should take the covers off of my head, but today I wish I could just lay in bed.” The background moaning between each verse is hallucinatory and eerie, mostly because our narrator has a hangover. Little Bobby’s echoing electric guitar provides plodding, reverberating chords that emphasize Sunday’s weariness.
Track 12: “Crying Shame” – The penultimate acoustic ballad describes a controlling relationship to a T: “He reeled me in, yes, and smothered me with love, and then he screamed in my ear that he’d had enough. He calls me to say he needs me, and then the next day he wants to be free.” The atmosphere is one of lethargic frustration, as if it would take too much effort to end the romance.
Sunday Wilde sings that “He Digs Me”, and fans of female blues artists will dig this CD!