Good solid blues from this Texas born singer, Cathy Lemons, and veteran bassist Johnny Ace, who lead their substantial band and a few guest through this dozen tunes on their debut disc together. The two of them wrote all the tunes on the disc with the exceptions of two, I Got It and Shoot To Kill, which they co-wrote with Pierre Le Corre, their guitar player; and then the two covers, Move On and Gimme a Penny. They are joined here by their guests Tommy Castro playing lead guitar on two tracks, David Maxwell jingles the ivories on two tracks, Paul Oscher some very tasteful harp on one track. Ron Thompson adds some lead slide guitar on one track and Kid Andersen plays keys and guitar on multiple tracks as well as producing the disc with the two artists. These guests add to the tone and texture of the music without cluttering it up with a lot of extraneous notes. The band is right with these two every step of the way, supporting their excursions without overstepping any boundaries, however playing right up to the limits.
Lemonace is an interesting showcase for these two who had headed up their own bands and were used to being the stars of the show. At one time Johnny Ace was quite the showman using his bass as a great prop, tossing it in the air and doing splits with it. Cathy Lemons was used to fronting her own band, singing the Texas blues she grew up with. Somehow those mysterious forces that work in the universe brought the two together and created a band this robust. Pierre Le Corre does most of the lead guitar work except when one of the guests steps in and does that and then he shifts to rhythm guitar, or on two tracks he'll bring out the slide. He holds his own with anybody playing some very tasteful fills and leads— he hails from across the ocean in France. Artie "Stix" Chavez handles the drums on all tracks, Johnny of course plays the bass guitar (and credit here he is not putting his bass out in front of the other instruments) and does some background and lead singing but leaves most of the lead vocals to Cathy. A very fine outing by this first-rate group that houses itself in the Bay Area now. The guests are old friends and compatriots in the blues and do their job with restraint and only add to the music.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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