655

Mia Vermillion: Alone Together With the Blues

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Mia Vermillion: Alone Together With the Blues Mia Vermillion has a big vocal presence. She sings with the wild abandon of Janis Joplin controlled by the fluid precision of Bonnie Bramlett, the gusto of Big Mama Thornton, and the blues foundation of Bessie Smith. She infuses her singing with more humidity than Ma Rainey and more sex than Lena Horne.

Tacitly a blues singer, Vermillion's repertoire on Alone Together with the Blues is more diverse than the straight 12-bar variety. Joined by master slide guitarist Orville Johnson, Vermillion weaves a tapestry of folk music that extrapolates the similar attempts of Cassandra Wilson to their logical pinnacle. Johnson provides an earthy, organic bottom to this collection of nine songs with his dobro, guitar, and mandolin, directly impacting Vermillion's approach to the songs.

On Lil Green's "In the Dark," Johnson flat-picks the guitar while Vermillion expounds on pheromones with the lights out. Vermillon's original, "Love's Lost and Found," couples Johnson on electric rhythm and dobro, supporting a languid Vermillion singing, "Come on boys, I'm one of those girls everybody knows, where my dreams are like paper, boy how I'm shuffled around..."

The recording turns on two obscure classic blues, Leroy Carr's "In The Evening," and "When I've Been Drinkin'" by Big Bill Broonzy. "In The Evening" was a staple of the Carr-Blackwell songbook in the 1930s, and 80 years later, Johnson and Vermillion freshen it up to the point it can be compared to its cousin composition, "St. Louis Blues." "When I've Been Drinkin'" hosts Johnson's best dobro playing of the disc as Vermillion, subdued, sings with the reticence of the inebriated.

Vermillion is a fresh and welcome arrival on the blues (and jazz) scene. The full depth of her talent has yet to be seen.


Track Listing: Little Bit of Love; In the Dark; Loves Lost and Found; In The Evening; When I've Been Drinking; I'm Going to Copyright Your Kisses; I Wonder; Walkin'; Two Cigarettes in the Dark.

Personnel: Mia Vermillion: vocals; Orville Johnson: dobro, guitar, mandolin; Chuck Deardorf, Garey Shelton, Cary Black: bass; Ben Smith, Mark Ivester: drums and percussion; Hans Teuber: clarinet.

Title: Alone Together With the Blues | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Towards Language CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017
Read The Romeo and Juliet Project CD/LP/Track Review The Romeo and Juliet Project
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Crystal Machine CD/LP/Track Review Crystal Machine
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Thick as Thieves CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read "Aquarelle" CD/LP/Track Review Aquarelle
by Geannine Reid
Published: April 7, 2017
Read "Sunrain" CD/LP/Track Review Sunrain
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 3, 2016
Read "Here’s to You..." CD/LP/Track Review Here’s to You...
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: November 9, 2016
Read "High Time" CD/LP/Track Review High Time
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 26, 2017
Read "A Room of One's Own" CD/LP/Track Review A Room of One's Own
by Ian Patterson
Published: August 10, 2016
Read "Through The Glass" CD/LP/Track Review Through The Glass
by Nicola Negri
Published: March 25, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.