Rise up with Angela Easley Soulful Talent

Rise up with Angela Easley Soulful Talent

Rise up with Angela Easley Soulful Talent with a wonderful 4 doodle-paws EP of crafted and impeccable soul/blues that certainly confirm Angela as a talent to watch.

Bluesdoodles rating: 4 Doodle Paws – a wonderful EP of crafted and an impeccable soul/blues that certainly confirm Angela as a talent to watch.

I hadn’t heard of Angela Easley until this new CD landed on my desk, and yet this is her fourth release and she has been nominated for numerous blues awards, she is currently in her fourth year of residency performances at the famed Bourbon Street Blues & Boogie Bar in Nashville and, although Radio Free Nashville isn’t easily available in the UK, she has her own radio show too. So I apologise for missing her previously and I approached this CD with eagerness as my research unearthed a brave, and rather lovely, rendition of House of the Rising Sun, which is now a staple of her live set…OK, it doesn’t match up to the best ever version of this old song, but then no other version will supplant Miller Anderson’s from his 2003 stroke of genius called Bluesheart. I digress; this is about a talented young lady from Mississippi who is making waves in Nashville with her live appearances, previous EPs and now this latest work, called Rise

The six tracks take in a mix of genres: mainly blues, rock, funk and soul with a country air filtering through on occasion. It opens with a piano-led ballad called I Can Let Go: some glorious electric guitar phrases add nicely to the emotional and effective delivery from Angela with The McCrary Sisters doing their usual sterling backing vocal work. It’s a soulful blues with power.
After such a soulful start, we get all funky with Runnin’ Out of Time. Moving to the organ and some cover snare work with horns horning, the soulful vocal again convinces and conveys the lyrics so well. A roaming sax solo, for me, should have been a key solo because, behind the band, it sounds very good. The bass is excellent too although I apologise to him or her as I couldn’t find a credit for you.

Next is the title track, Rise, this time backed in the vocal department by Shelley Fairchild; another Mississippi export to Nashville with an established, mainly country, career. This is such a well constructed, soft rock via the blues/gospel song that is captivating and, apart from two lovely vocalists, we, at last, get a great guitar solo making this my favourite. Don’t Let the Devil Down is next and stays in a slightly rocky vein as the guitar chords (with gentle tremolo work) set the scene for a tale of internal conflict of faith…although with the great line “you got me feeling like my favourite sweater” it does suggest a bit of mischievousness. I thought we’d get a solo after the clever bridge…ah well.

The penultimate track, One More Last Time, slows down to a soulful, slightly bluesy…I was going to say ballad, but it is a bit of lamentation for love. The sax and guitar are present and add some gravitas to the piano and the short guitar phrases are exquisite and convey the emotions as effectively as Angela’s heartfelt performance.

The final track, Crazy Rain, has its roots in country and, apart from needing the loo after listening to the intro and the denouement a few times, it has some great acoustic slide guitar behind a fascinating percussion and a blissful, too short electric slide solo.

I thoroughly enjoyed this six-track EP from a talent that I will not miss next time…it may not have the rock or ‘primitive’ blues element I love so much, but it does have a hell of a lot to offer, especially if you like soul in your blues.

Rise up with Angela Easley Soulful Talent

Track listing:
1. I Can Let Go
2. Runnin’ Out of Time
3. Rise
4. Don’t Let the Devil Down
5. One More Last Time
6. Crazy Rain

Produced by Walter Scott and Angela Easley.

Angela Easley: vocals, keyboards, guitar
Marcus Finnie: drums
Randall Scot Peterson: guitar
Matthew Gros: saxophone

Shelley Fairchild: vocals on Rise
The McCrary Sisters: vocals on I Can Let Go

Connect with Angela Easley across SOCIAL MEDIA
Official Website

(iTunes moved me back in time to The Animals and their brilliant cover of John Lee Hooker’s Dimples.)

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