DAUNIELLE: Daunielle

DAUNIELLE: Daunielle

Catfood Records CFRo19 (41:15) Runaway Train l Early Gravel Damn Your Eyes – I Got A Voice! Biloxi – Higher And Higher – Fallen Bird – Nobody Cared l Romeo And Juliet! Goodbye Kiss

My goodness, 2014 has already given us some great new music and releases in the blues world, and this release from Daunielle Hill out of Memphis keeps the quality very high indeed. Recorded in Tornillo. Texas it features The Rays as the backing band including a three-piece brass section and label owner Bob Trenchard on bass. Catfood Records has set such a high standard for itself that you can almost take for granted that each new release will be a cracker, this new disc being no exception to the rule with its eight new songs and two covers.

A little background to the lady may be appropriate as she is not that well known. Daunielle has a recent history of being a background singer for the likes of Solomon Burke. Cee Cee James and Huey Lewis and has been on the road with the latter for the past four years. Clearly someone recognized her vocal talent and this CD is the result. The cover songs are ‘Damn Your Eyes‘, lacking both the vulnerability and anger the late Etta James brought to this excellent song, and ‘Higher And Higher’ which is a fair enough stab at this well-known number.

It is the eight original soulful songs coming from the likes of Bob Trenchard, James Armstrong, the artist herself, Sandy Carroll and others, as well as the excellent arrangements and backing from the large band that make this disc stand out. The opener, ‘Runaway Train’, with its bold brassy opening, church sounding organ work and catchy soulful rhythm is the tops. More of the same on the slow-paced ‘Early Grave’ with some subtle guitar lines added by Johnny McGhee.

The menacing chug-a-lug relentless rhythm of ‘I Got A Voice’ is cracking and the story line is of our lady asserting her vocal skills and talent. ‘BiIoxi’ has a subtle Can’bbean/ Mexicana rhythm to it. ‘Fallen Bird’ is a top rate soulful ballad and it shows the tremendous vocal range Daunielle has and the same observations apply to ‘Nobody Cared’. The last number, ‘The Goodbye Kiss‘, is another deep, well-executed soul outing with hints of country in the song’s makeup and oh that brass section will send shivers all over you.Well done to all for making this release such an enjoyable listening experience and it’s good to see that Catfood Records are keeping up their impeccable musical credentials. If you are looking for consistent quality product, then this label and its releases won’t let you down.Mike Stephenson

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