Queenie & the Blue Cats - Another Blue Day
11 Tracks 45 min 6 seconds; 10 originals
Style: Chicago-Delta blues Rating: Meritable
Whether in a club or at a festival, here’s another live-performance act you might want to take in the next time you’re out and about in North Central USA better known as ‘the Mid-West’ from which this band hails. From the song writing to the camera spotlight to the center stage - Queenie will command you with a band who knows when to lay back and when to step up.
In Track 1’s, Cork in a Bottle, I was happy to hear the separate distinctive artistic interpretive value of each and every musician in the band within this original song. And this style continues throughout the CD. There are times when you want this clarity in blues to set a deeper groove; call it ‘chill’. Appropriate enough, too, for the subject matter of this one about kicking the booze habit. From the juke joints of the Delta to the clubs in Chicago, how often we try to wash away the blues with the same alcohol that can purvey the blues. The song’s not over played or over sung, and yet exudes from the heart. Great job, band members Susan McCarter-Wade aka Queenie, guitarist Joe Dieter, bass guitarist Scott Lukomski, and drummer Bill Cheadle.
Tract 2 is another original, Boss Lady. And if you check out Miss Queenie at a live show, cd jacket photo or a youtube clip, you can see why... it’s that ‘own-it-I’m-as-bad-as-I-wanna-be’ attitude. It’s hers - the feel of the music, the words, the stage and the conviction. Have a swig of some Chicago juice with this one.
Blues for Otis (Elevator Slide), is next. Clever job because blues innuendos are historically how sexual messages got delivered in the blues. Yep, you got it: "..gonna ride your elevator until I reach the bottom floor, until I can’t ride no more, gonna ring your buzzer baby, let you know when I arrive, gonna slide right to the bottom of the shaft so hold on tight.." Ha! Shaft?! Got to love that...Nice solo blues guitar rifts and slides within a light-handed steady rollin’ pocket.
And again, with Tract 4’s original December Again, we get the clarity and distinctive mood setting tone with those Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Water’s characteristic measures. Keeping it slow and steady, go ahead and drop, rock, and roll your head to Blue Day just like you would alone in a small obscure club--lights down low, liquor on the rocks, light up your smoke, then sit back and feel. Once again, great guitar solo by Joe Dieter, supported by the steady pocket of Scott Lukomski on bass and Bill Cheadle on drums.
Joe’s Song is Tract 6, and yes, that would be Joe the guitarist. Nice to include a solo from him because as a scene stealer, he can command the floor much like a lead singer. Blues-rock your way in to Woman of the Blues, then take it back to some Chicago Delta with Willie Dixon’s You Shook Me, move on to have some fun with the original Crossdresser’s Blues (about a man wanting to wear Queenie’s shoes, lipstick, dresses, hum...) and end with Watermelon fun. Take the words and phrases like ‘juicy, the poor man’s passion fruit, melon baller’, then throw in a few orgasmic screams and some seed spitting, and you’ve got the Watermelon blues.
Have fun yet chill with Another Blue Day, all at the same time. Enjoy!
Reviewer Belinda Foster is a Columnist and Contributing Writer for Greenville SC Magazine “Industry Mag” and former manager of Mac Arnold & Plate Full O’Blues. She currently books blues-rock-jam musicians and is a devoted promoter and supporter of live blues root music and history, making frequent trips to “The Crossroads” and Clarksdale Mississippi, birthplace of the blues. Her column “The Upstate Blues Report” can be found on line at www.industrymag.net