Living Blues - p.p.84
"Etta the Eternal R&B Renegade remains untamed and unafraid....There's plenty of heart and power left in her."
Personnel: Etta James (vocals); Josh Sklar (acoustic, electric & 12-string guitars, banjo, synthesizer); Bobby Murray (electric guitar); Jimmy "Z" Zavala (harmonica, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone); Lee R. Thornburg (trumpet, trombone); Tom Poole (trumpet); David K. Matthews (piano, Hammond B-3 organ, keyboards); Sametto James (bass); Donto James (drums, percussion, background vocals).
Producers: Etta James, Donto James, Josh Sklar, Sametto James.
Recorded at Fort Athens Studio, Riverside, California.
LET'S ROLL won the 2004 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album.
With the self-produced LET'S ROLL, Etta James takes a break from the jazz and blues forays she'd made on recent albums in an attempt to take a stab at revisiting her rock & roll roots. This soul belter's choice of artists to interpret veers away from her previous covers of '60s rockers like Steppenwolf and Creedence Clearwater Revival. Instead, the California native goes from tunes by contemporary songwriters like one-time Fleetwood Mac singer Bekka Bramlett (a chugging "Strongest Weakness") and Texas bluesman Delbert McClinton (the simmering "Wayward Saints of Memphis") to a crackling reading of Billy Wright's obscure early-'50s R&B hit "Stacked Deck." With sons Donto and Sametto manning the rhythm section, James sounds relaxed as she tucks into the laid-back groove of "Trust Yourself" with its Blind Boys-like harmonies and a version of Barbara Carr's "Please, No More" that reverberates with the pains and aches this icon has endured. With LET'S ROLL, a legendary sexagenarian adds yet another notch to a career striding confidently into the new millennium.