- Released: June 8, 2004
- Originally Released: 2004
- Label: RCA Victor
Mojo (Publisher) - p.1103 stars out of 5
- "[A]s this new album cogently illustrates, the LA-born chanteuse continues to record with an energetic vigour..."
- 1.Got My Mojo Working
- 2.Don't Start Me To Talking
- 3.Hush Hush
- 4.Lil' Red Rooster
- 5.That's Alright
- 6.Crawlin' Kingsnake
- 7.Dust My Broom
- 8.The Sky Is Crying
- 9.Smokestack Lightnin'
- 10.You Shook Me
- 11.Driving Wheel
- 12.Honey, Don't Tear My Clothes
Personnel: Etta James (vocals); Brian Ray (guitar, slide guitar); Josh Sklair, Bobby Murray (guitar); John "Juke" Logan (harmonica); Mike Finnegan (piano); Sametto James (bass guitar); Donto Metto James (drums).
Liner Note Author: Lithoyfayne Pridgon.
Duke Ellington spoke of certain things being "beyond category"--such a description suits singer Etta James. Since the 1950s, James has helped to set trends and adapted to them, applying her deep, dignified voice to jazz, blues, Southern soul, and pop balladry. BLUES TO THE BONE is James's tribute to the blues, and it takes on well-worn genre standards and gives them a veritable new lease on life. James alternates between acoustic and electric renditions--"Lil' Red Rooster" becomes a country-tinged lamentation, and "Smokestack Lightnin'" gets a rare bare-bones treatment, just voice and acoustic guitar. "Got My Mojo Working" is a chugging, loping hunk of bravado, and "The Sky Is Crying" sounds like a storm about to break, James' voice the virtual definition of "soulful." Throughout, James sings the blues as one who has lived them, and her accompanists are a lean, mean, well-oiled machine, playing nary an excess note.
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Blues to the Bone....Etta James
Music Lover: staggerlee
North of Chi' town
-- March, 26, 2008
"Don't start me talkin'", This album will blow you away. Long time, long time Etta James fan. It's been a long time since I've had an album grab me this way. Maybe it's because we're both older, but there's a tone, a quality in Etta's voice...call it maturity if you will... deeper, fuller, rounder, like a fine aged wine, and she delivers it the same way. The musicians, two of which are her sons, are a perfect match to Etta's richer sound.
It's not often than you find a cover version that is equal to the original, its ever rarer when the cover is better, and in this case it is.
Sonny Boy Williamson, Elmore James, Jimmy Reed, Howlin' Wolf, if they were here, they'd tell you the same.