Trudy Lynn Blues Keep Rockin’ Conner Ray Music www.TrudyLynn.com
In the last six months, an abundance of blues have been sent my way. Most of it has left me cold: with all due respect to the PR folks, labels, and musicians—I don’t need to hear any more guitar noodlers. Each and every one leaves me bored.
What doesn’t? Albums produced by singers like Trudy Lynn.
I have heard and written about some great blues singers this year: Suzie Vinnick, Rory Block, Joyann Parker, Samantha Martin, Sue Foley, Crystal Shawanda…and I am guessing you are seeing what they have in common: they groove, they get deep, and they sing with soul. Beautiful recordings all.
Add Houston legend Trudy Lynn’s latest to the list. A member of the Houston Music Hall of Fame, Trudy Lynn knows her stuff. There is no little bit of R&B in her music, and she twists her one-of-a-kind voice around each and every song included on Blues Keep Knockin’.
Covering a Hoyt Axton/Three Dog Night song is always a fine way to get my attention, and Trudy Lynn’s mid-set, organ-embellished rendition of “I’ve Never Been to Spain” did the trick. Sultry and intimate, without over-reaching, this version is one to remember. “Blues Ain’t Nothin” and “Blues Keep Knocking” are powerful showpieces for this veteran of the circuit who has been nominated for Living Blues awards.
I sure don’t want to get on the wrong side of a woman declaring her devotion, “It’s tit-for-tit, tat-for-tat: you kill by dog, I’ll kill your cat…” as she does on “It’s Alright,” a sharp piano-based song that is as scary as it is powerful. Steve Krase’s harmonica is prominently positioned on this number, as well as throughout the album. “When I Been Drinkin'” is a no-nonsense declaration of a woman’s needs, and Dan Carpenter’s sax is just the punctuation the song requires, while Trudy Lynn lays things plain within “I Sing the Blues.” “Pitiful” features some fiery guitar from Bob Lanza, but it doesn’t detract from Ms Trudy’s soul-drenched performance.
The album closes with a guitar-rich interpretation of Etta James’ “Would It Make Any Difference to You,” which features Carolyn Wonderland laying out lively, nuanced notes.
Trudy Lynn has been making music for a long time, and Blues Keep Knockin’ is her thirteenth album. This is a damn fine blues record. Seek it out.