It is no secret that Ike Turner has lived a very colorful life. He has seen it all: the struggle, the fame, the downward spiral, the besmirching of his name. But he has proved to be a fighter and a survivor. And now, at 75, he is back with a hell-raising album.
Turner has written a few classic songs and he continues to show that strength. In addition, he picks on some rhythm & blues standards, giving one an interesting autobiographical twist. He sings with an overwhelming passion, plays stinging guitar and works with a hot band, particularly the horns. This record is a zinger.
Turner takes Eddie Boyd's "Five Long Years and turns it inward, changing it to "Eighteen Long Years to reflect the time he was married to Tina Turner. His singing on this blues tune is gut-wrenching; his voice has a raucous edge which brings out the hell that marriage was for him. Motown does not escape his attention, and his sandpaper vocals braise "A Love Like Yours. Bringing in his own interpretation, he captures the essence and spirit of the Martha and the Vandellas song, making it his own.
The blues hold sway on "Rockin' Blues. Turner has it all in the palm of his hand, his phrasing breathing life into the words. He still has the power to turn the blues into an unforgettable experience. And for added impetus, there's some flinty guitar. Turner's sense of humour is evident on "Gimme Back My Wig, where he takes a dig at a woman who was once his. It's a funky delight, upped by the harp of Ken Frizelle.
There is a lot more to savour here. One thing is certain: Ike Turner has made an impact all over again.
Gimme Back My Wig; Caldonia; Tease Me; Goin
Ike Turner: lead vocals, guitar, piano; Audrey Madison: background vocals (7); The Kings of Rhythm: Mack Johnson: horns; Leo Dumbecki: horns; Ryan Montana: horns; Seth Blumberg: guitars; Joe Kelly: guitars; Ken Frizelle: harp; Lenny
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