This is only Fiona Boyes' sophomore release, but she's already attracted Marcia Ball, Pinetop Perkins, and Watermelon Slim to her side, the trio of name guests here. She's most recently received nominations three years running for the Blues Music Award and has played gigs like the Chicago Blues Fest, WC Handy Awards, Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise, and so on. Boyes, though, can also boast of a long line of quite respectable recognitions since 2001, starting down in her native Australia. Not least of all, she's toured with Bob Margolin and Hubert Sumlin. In other words, the lady arrived on the scene loaded for bear, and even the ursines took note.
Boyes' has been described as Bonnie Raitt's evil twin, and it's an apt sobriquet. She plays a lot more nastily than Bonnie and sings from the bedroom, gutter, and back alleys, close to Liz Mandeville's (here) territory, roughed up with hard-won wisdom and a sting like a scorpion. The backing band includes another very good guitarist, Derek O'Brien, but cuts like "I Want to Go", where Boyes straps on an acoustic, show just how accomplished she truly is. The woman's got the tradition down cold!
The expanded-band format cuts, with horns (Kaz Kazanoff & Al Gomez) and such, fall into a New Orleans bawdyhouse groove by way of an afterhours speakeasy. Then Got My Eye on You sidles back into the slinkier aspect of all that, a sultry seductive come-on to the apple of the femme's rather brazen eye, Kazanoff's sax growling behind her, slide solo in the middle accentuating the beat and the heat. So, whether you want a lady who can howl and purr with the best or play a guitar that'll make the boys stand up and take notice, Blues Woman is your shot of Jack. Don't bother with the chaser, 'cause the chances are good, if you're male, Fiona Boyes already has that well in mind.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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