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LA Blues – Kara Grainger

januari 24th, 2012 at 19:42

www.karagrainger.com

Kara Grainger already made a great impression with her debut Grand and Green River in 2008. The Australian singer/guitarist debuted under her own name then, but already sang before that in her brother Michael’s band, Papa Lips. She also recorded two albums with that band that remained unnoticed in the rest of the world.

The eight songs on her second CD, which is only available as a download, were recorded live in studio with a band and depart from the blues. Now living in the US, Grainger proves in them that she knows the classics, but transcends the genre at the same time.

Robert Johnson’s C’mon in my Kitchen gets a slowly grooving, threatening rendition by drummer Stacey Lamont Sydnor and bassist Mary Beth Kedzior and is defined just as atmospherically by Arlan Schierbaum’s Hammond and brother Michael’s mouth harp as by  Grainger’s tempting vocals and her slide guitar.

Like Bonnie Raitt, Grainger bends and stretches the syllables she sings just as freely as the notes she plays on her slide. That is just as evident in songs by Jimmy Reed, Koko Taylor and Billy Mitchell & Earl Randle,  from which the almost seven minute long version of their Come To Mama steals the show. Grainger only adds little to JJ Cale’s I’ll Make Love To You Anytime, because she leaves the original version intact too much.

Grainger’s Holding On and Sky Is Falling can easily stand to be compared to the other songs: they too are rhythmically interesting and she plays and sings them highly inspired.

That way this all too short cd is a showcase on which Grainger clearly proves her class.

***1/2

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