March 17, 2013
Long Tall Deb (Landolt) is a transplanted Texan with a broad, booming vocal presence, whose latest album began as a series of “Wednesday Night Music Club” writer’s nights in Columbus, Ohio. She and the band put together the ten originals (plus two cool covers) that make up “Raise Your Hands,” her recent release from Vizztone Records, during these sessions, and enlisted Nashville producer Dave Clo to encourage Deb to bring everything she had to the recording studio. The result is a richly-textured album that touches on blues, deep soul, and even a touch of gospel.
The co-writers that are the backing musicians are Sean Carney and Dave Clo on guitars, Melvin Powe on bass, and John Popovich on keys, with Jan Roll on drums. Several special guests round out the set, with Deb’s powerhouse vocals leading the charge.
She kicks things off with a playful “battle of the sexes” duet with Philip Pemberton on “What Would A Good Woman Do.” Scufflin’ from day to day in a thankless job with no time for yourself is the theme of “The Last Time,” while “Goa Breeze” allows her to break from that rut and “get back to the life I once had.” ”Train To Tucson” has a rockabilly, Sun Records vibe, with some killer slide work throughout. She gives a funky read of Ian Moore’s “Muddy Jesus,” and closes the set with only her voice over John’s piano in Tom Waits’ “New Coat Of Paint.”
We had three favorites, too. ”Let’s Get Lost” is the tale of a VERY steamy love affair that has Deb begging her lover to “tie me down, and lock me in.” An acoustic intro segues’ into a full-on gospel assault in “To Find His Home,” and features guest appearances from Bart Walker, Reese Wynans, and Philip Pemberton. And, perhaps the coolest cut on the set is “Married To The Blues.” It finds Deb embracing the blues because “the blues don’t care if you’re black or white” or “what time you come in at night.” And, Big Llou Johnson plays the “preacher” who performs the ceremony!
Long Tall Deb has all the tools to make it in contemporary blues. She’s got great vocal chops and writes clever songs that touch on the feelings of the listener. She’s definitely a star on the rise, and “Raise Your Hands” is a fine start! Until next time….Sheryl and Don Crow.