Blues is miserable, downbeat and introspective; if that is your stereotype then Get Ready you haven’t heard and definitely not seen Kaz Hawkins and Her Band O Men perform. This may be a debut album but there is a world of musical knowledge and talent that pours out of Kaz’s immense and powerful vocal chords. From the first note to the last, the warmth and personality of Kaz shines through this is an album that catches and the mix of styles that has influenced blues or been influenced by blues are threaded through the tracks so each and every one is shaped and honed. We here echoes of field hollers, gospel, soul, honkey-tonk and jazz what we have is the Kaz effect Wow! That is really a great fresh contemporary sound you want to listen to and enjoy.
Her album opens with Hallelujah Happy People, you will want to join her where the happy people go for two positive reasons to raise your spirits and hear her spellbinding vocal delivery. Throughout it is full of vocal allure and the raw energy that tells the lyrics exactly as it is. Every track has a tale of interest delivered with an honest reality that connects I Saw A Man is slower full of heart-wretching soulfulness painting a lyrical picture as we come to know and understand what Kaz has seen and motivated her to write about this unnamed man. There is no doubt that we all believe in Kaz having experienced her musical journey through the album Get Ready; the title track sums it up instead of sing “Get Ready for Peace, Get Ready for Love” it should be Get Ready for Kaz Hawkins and Her Band O Men.
Get your dancing shoes on and join the party for Shake and Can’t Afford Me you will be smiling and moving and grooving with every perfectly produced note. Drink With the Devil a cleverly produced song that feels and sounds as if it is echoing the feel of speakeasy bars during prohibition. Closing with Walking On My Own there is a personal tale but with music of this quality walking on her own is a thing of the past for Kaz.
There can be no argument that Kaz does Belfast proud continuing a music tradition that has to be heard far and wide and very, very often as we can explore the music and understand the reflective tone and language of a life lived to the full with all the bumps in the road and the tears of laughter and of joy.
Get Ready, is an album of extraordinary depths, emotional maturity and a vocal dexterity that demands to be heard and admired and her Band O Men just add the tonal dimensions for her talent to fly high as she hits the warmest of blues notes.
Bluesdoodles gives this CD TEN doodle paws out of TEN ….
Kaz Hawkins ~ Get Ready – Independent
1. Hallelujah Happy People
2. I Saw A Man
3. Believe With Me
5. Get Ready
6. Can’t Afford Me
7. Coz You
8. Drink With The Devil
9. Born To Be Lovers
10. Walkin On My Own