Cara Lippman shows Grit as Cara Being Blue

Although the album is released under the Cara Being Blue banner, the Cara in question is the lovely Cara Lippman. Originally from Boston, Cara moved to the mecca of music that is Nashville to expand her horizons and hone her skills as a writer and a performer. Her debut recording was the 2016 EP Full Throttle, which in name and performance gave a clue as to the blues and rock music this lady loves. She now has a full-length album called Grit on release that she dedicated to “women with grit, especially two close friends who fought cancer with integrity and grace” before finally succumbing.

She has delivered ten tracks of her own or co-written compositions all of which revel in blues and rock with inevitable Nashville inflections. My interest was also piqued by a song called My Doggie…she loves dogs as I do therefore she is all right by me! More of that later…

It all kicks off with the title track, Grit: straight-ahead blues-rock song with piano and horns backing the neat riff. Cara’s voice is expressive and can be silky or steely to suit the emotions. As usual, when I listen to blues of this calibre my simple mind wants a quality solo…there wasn’t one, although it is still worthy. Crocodile Man is more open in construction and the guitar is perfect for this kind of song…there is a way too short solo that is nearly all on the lower strings and so breaks the usual mould and is all the better for it. Leave Me In Flames is a standard blues-rock riffed song that changes to neat chords behind the nice vocal melody. The twin guitar (short) duet really works and promises more toward the fade…but it fades on some great sounding slide! One Day is blues-rock of the old school with added harp fitting in surprisingly well. Cara’s vocal is at its best here as she explores the melody so well and the guitar phrases make this the current favourite…it is like an electric Soldier of Fortune with a harp! You Don’t Wanna stays in the slower blues with more sensitive guitar as the piano tinkles behind the vocals. It does have a familiar construction but the vocals and the solo (especially those emotive bends) coupled with a piano solo that reflects the melodies make it different from what you may think from the opening bars. Skippin’ Stone brings a touch of funk to the party with the strummed intro, electric piano and guitar breaks. The chorus hints at soul layered over the funkiness and then another quality guitar solo that travel across and up and down the neck:  the electric piano solo adds its voice effectively too. Old Feelin’ is slow, electric blues that is based on the old style blues of the acoustic masters. There are tremolo‘d chords behind the lower register vocals which work well and the harp injects more old feeling of the blues with its backing and a solo of quality. Kind Kinda Man lifts the pace with the horns bringing a touch of jazz and the piano and sax, especially the solos, keeping it on Beale Street. Now to that canine song…My Doggie has an amusing story as Cara is obviously a magnet for stray dogs, which as she says, “they’re so cute”! The guitar and harp keep with the fun in the bouncy blues backing. The guitar solo is an inventive one with a neat lower string intro and the hesitant sounding backing to the vocals actually works when you get used to it and see how it fits. My two Westies like this one too! The final track, Some Fun, is a rapid-fire dancing blues…provided you aren’t old like me and have the stamina to stay with the train track pace. This time we get electric guitar and an acoustic solo that is bewildering in its range.

All in all this is a more than an enjoyable album of blues-rock performed immaculately by Cara and her cohorts. No, it doesn’t break new ground but there is something for all-electric blues lovers (and dog lovers) in an entertaining debut. I would bet that the next one will be even better.

SEVENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Track listing:

  1. Grit
  2. Crocodile Man
  3. Leave Me In Flames
  4. One Day
  5. You Don’t Wanna
  6. Skippin’ Stone
  7. Old Feelin’
  8. Kind Kinda Man
  9. My Doggie
  10. Some Fun


Musicians:

Cara Lippman – Lead vocals

Mandy Vixen – Background vocals, tracks 1 & 3

Val Lupescu – Guitar, tracks 1, 4, 6, & 7; rhythm guitar, 5 & 9

Dave Fields – Guitar, track 2

Jack Pearson – Lead guitar, track 5

Will Gustofson – Guitar, tracks 3 & 10; lead guitar, 9

Eric Robert – Keys/organ

Jonathon Nixon – Bass, tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, & 10

David Abdo – Bass, tracks 5, 6, & 9

Flip Winfield – Drums, tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, & 10

Matt Doctor – Drums, tracks 5, 6, & 9

Miqui Gutierrez – Sax

Varney Greene – Trombone

Tim Gonzalez – Harmonica

Cara Lippman shows Grit as Cara Being Blue

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