Hard Times, Bad Decisions Sings Lisa Mann

Hard Times, Bad Decisions Sings Lisa Mann

Hard Times, Bad Decisions Sings Lisa Mann


Lisa Mann’s album is full of raw, feminine determination. The blues a woman’s way combining Lisa’s vocal power with the gritty groove-driven bass playing. The Album oozes class, reflecting the awards she is gathering around her as we dip into her fourth studio album.


Opening with the title track, the album sets off on a gritty journey when the wrong path is taken reflecting on bad decisions taken and hard times. The tempo changes with sultry sax and harmonisation of Lisa and Andy Stokes vocals on a country fueled Two Halves Of One Broken Heart weaves the melody around your ear.  The album is redolent of R n’ B of the sixties, fifties song book twisted and vital with a contemporary energy. Lisa Mann sings the blues as she explores relationships and the effect that good choices and bad decisions have on our travels through life’s experiences.


Hard Times, Bad Decisions features her band Jason JT Thomas on guitar whose manipulation of the six-strings adds such deep and glorious tonal textures. The Keys of Brian Harris adds a flourish of chords that underpin the lyrics and melodic tone. Finally and definitely not least is the other half of the rhythm section Michael Ballash on drums. Into to the mix is an array of special guests making the album zing with energy. Lisa has a definite panache for mixing four covers that fit perfectly with the eight originals.


We have some fun with a hip swinging ditty Doghouse this is a tune that is light and has a feeling of fun making you smile and pick up your dancing shoes.  The warm clarion vocals as Lisa declares I Don’t Hurt Anymore the keys swell around her voice. Another change of tone and direction that you come to expect on an album exploring life. My Father’s House curls with blue gospel driven energy springing from the guitar of Kirk Fletcher featuring on the track. With her vocals demanding us to come in to My Father’s House this is rousing gospel that fills the room with music that warms the soul. Closing the album with a darker number as guest drummer Vinny Appice and the resonator guitarist Ben Rice on Judge A Man Forever. This is a track that leaves you wanting to hear more of Lisa Mann real soon. As we learn about judging forever by the worse thing anyone has ever done. The album throughout explores the difference about bad decisions where we have a choice what path action we take and Hard Times that happens often for no fault of our own.  Lisa Mann has a message to share within her lyrics and a melody to had the shades of light and dark. Blues to make you reflect, laugh and cry but above all to enjoy for its power, melodic shaping and the integrity of the songs. .


Hard Times, Bad Decisions Sings Lisa Mann, having listened to the album adding the album to your collection has to be a good decision.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD NINE pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing 

  1. Hard Times, Bad Decisions
  2. Two Halves Of one Broken Heart
  3. Certain Kinda Man
  4. I Go Zoom
  5. Doghouse
  6. I Don’t Hurt Anymore
  7. Ain’t Nunna Yo Bizness
  8. My Father’s House
  9. You Need A Woman
  10. Play It All The Way
  11. I Love You All The Time
  12. Judge A Man Forever

Ian Siegal – Video’s Tour Dates and more……

Ian Siegal Unplugged 2015
Highlights of an Ian Siegal solo show in London, July 2015.




Multiple award-winner Ian Siegal is widely considered to be the UK’s finest contemporary bluesman. He sets out on a solo acoustic tour starting 23 October…




23 Oct – ISLE OF MAN: Centenary Centre,

24 Oct – GLASGOW: Hug & Pint

25 Oct – POYNTON: Legion Club

27 Oct – LEICESTER: Musician

28 Oct – NOTTINGHAM: Guitar Bar

29 Oct – MATLOCK: Fishpond

30 Oct – WORTHING: Southern Pavilion

31 Oct – WORCESTER: Huntingdon Hall

1 Nov – WHITSTABLE: Duke of Cumberland

2 Nov – LONDON: Dingwalls

Bluesdoodles reviews of Ian Siegal’s latest Albums

One Night In Amsterdam

Man and Guitar

Picnic Sessions

The Red Dirt Skinners – Live In Aberdeen ~ CD Review

Live In Aberdeen

This is this award-winning duo’s fourth album and once again they have encapsulated what makes this pair stand out from the crowd by playing clever music you want to listen too. They are fantastic as a live band full of warmth and stories that make each track authentic with personal connection by The Red Dirt Skinners and the crowds. Firstly, if you have not heard them before, disengage genre border controls, and the need to stereotype music into a box, open your ears, listen and appreciate the pure talent streaming from the speakers.

This is a live album that has managed to trap onto the static metal of a CD the atmosphere and quirkiness of a live performance as they deliver a one-take do studio tweaking so you get the performance as it was heard as they say “warts and all” Every track is part of a set that showcases the highlights of the previous albums and the starts are… Rob with his vocals, singing and continuity between tracks plus his acoustic guitar that is the backbone of the sound line Oh! And lets not forget keep Rob’s feet busy with a drum and Sarah with combination of her Soprano Sax which adds clarity and drenches tracks with pure emotion and her vocals and the harp. This is a duo that has meshed genres and creates a sound that is full with layers of textures and clear nothing dominates but adds something to the music they create.

The hardest task in writing this review is selecting a few tracks to highlight as they are all special in their own way. The opening track Cornbread, Peas and Black Molasses is full of swing and vitality this is blues that steps out-side of the 12-bar box. The unexpected track for those who have had the misfortune of not seeing this entertaining often numerous duo live is David Bowie’s, Space Oddity, starting quietly with a haunting empty space wind blowing Sarah on Sax they build with the guitar and the vocals as they harmonise in this stripped back and emotive version that you will not forget but play again, this is a special track. For me I love their version of Brown Ferry’s Blues and their own song Black and White which is so personal to their own life experiences and the humour in The Monkey In The Engineer every blues album has to have a song about a train.

This is an album you will put on when you want to hear quality live music and sip a drink of your choice it doesn’t have to be Port as Rob sings in Up All Night – Live music at its best in your home.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD TEN doodle paws out of TEN ….pawprint half inch

Track Listing
Cornbread Peas & Black Molasses
Up All Night
Girl In A Truck
Space Oddity
Shreveport to New Orleans
The Monkey and The Engineer
Got My Mojo Working
Forever Young
Lay Me Down
Black And White
Pound Sign
Other Side Of Town
Browns Ferry Blues
Hot Tamales