Rock & Blues News
The Liz Lannon Band, self-titled (Black Rose)
Coming out of nowhere is this CD featuring a great new female blues singer. Liz Lannon has a clearly defined yet commanding voice, not what you’d expect from the cover photo, which is a pleasant surprise. She handles the opening ball-buster, “Scratch Ticket,” with ease and can switch gears 180 degrees for Little Willie John’s weeper “Need Your Love So Bad.” Of her own material, “Sittin’ and Drinkin’” presents Lannon in a number reminiscent of Bessie Smith. A couple of the band members get their own solo numbers, “Rollins,” a tribute to jazz-master Sonny R. from Ken Clarke on organ and “Off Season” featuring sax-blaster Charlie Kohlhase and Chris Lannon’s nice guitar work. Keep an eye out, this gal’s got a future in the biz.
Maynard Silva and the New Hawks, Wall of Tin (Black Rose)
Blasting open with J. B. Hutto’s “Pet Cream Man,” a rolling exercise in Elmore James-styled rockin’ blues, Silva and company do a great live set of humpin’ & bumpin’ blues numbers recorded at the Met Café in Providence, RI. Another great Hutto slide-guitar classic, “Angel Face,” turns up later and is given a superlative reading. Hutto was paramount in the development of the New Hawks, using a previous incarnation, Maynard Silva’s Jaguars, as his backing band in the 1970s before he settled in Boston and formed the New Hawks around Silva. The 12 cuts here rely mostly on Silva’s varied songs, which in turn benefit from Silva’s ragged vocal delivery. Energetic, enthusiastic set from a top-flight band.