146

Do: Rowena Said

Ed Kopp By

Sign in to view read count
So many aspiring musicians have taken up the guitar in recent years, it's a rare event when a talented young pianist leads a blues recording session.

Rowena Said introduces the world to Doña Oxford, a clever young pianist/organist and sassy vocalist with a don't-mess-with-me attitude. Best known as the keyboardist in Shemekia Copeland's road band, Doña (pronounced "doan-ya") has also backed Hubert Sumlin, Bernard Allison, Kenny Neal and Johnnie Johnson.

Oxford is a capable vocalist, but her piano playing really distinguishes this CD. She tackles three different styles of rollicking blues piano on Rowena Said, including trilly New Orleans-style R&B on the CD's best tune, an incendiary version of "Just A Little Bit," and on the second-line rave-up "Down in New Orleans." Later she rocks out Jerry Lee Lewis-style on a cookin' version of "I'm on Fire." Then on the original song "It's Rainin'" and on the solo instrumental "Doe's Blues," Oxford's playing is nearly indistinguishable from that of her idol, the great Chuck Berry sideman Johnnie Johnson.

Oxford's best vocal performance comes on the slow blues lament "Red White & Blues," where she drops the hot mama persona to reveal a softer, more soulful side. On the tracks where she plays organ, Oxford seems content to relinquish the spotlight to her capable band Oxford Blues. Guitarist Arthur Nielsen, a fellow member of the Shemekia Coleman road band, delivers two especially blistering solos on the soulful "Bye Bye M' Baby" and "I'm on Fire."

My only complaint about Rowena Said>/I> is that delivers just 37 minutes of music. Desites its stingy length, the CD acquaints us with a talented young blues pianist capable of playing just about anything. Hopefully we'll hear a lot more from Ms. Oxford.

Rating *** 1/2 (out of ****)

TRACKS: Cinderella; Down in New Orleans; Rowena Said; Big Hands, Big Feet; Bye Bye M' Baby; Just A Little Bit; I'm on Fire; Red, White & Blues; It's Rainin'; Doe's Blues

PLAYERS: Doña Oxford (vocals, piano, keys, organ); Arthur Nielsen (electric & steel guitars); Charles Torres (bass); Dan Hickey (drums); Brian Hess (bass); Billy Schroeder (drums); Perkin Barnes, Brenda Perina & Elizabeth Votlucka (background vocals)

Title: Rowena Said | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Fountainbleau


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Way of It CD/LP/Track Review The Way of It
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Tag Book CD/LP/Track Review Tag Book
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Hide Ye Idols CD/LP/Track Review Hide Ye Idols
by Troy Collins
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Spavati, Mozda Sanjati CD/LP/Track Review Spavati, Mozda Sanjati
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn CD/LP/Track Review Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Queen City Blues CD/LP/Track Review Queen City Blues
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 18, 2017
Read "Songbook" CD/LP/Track Review Songbook
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 14, 2017
Read "Coalesce" CD/LP/Track Review Coalesce
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: March 27, 2017
Read "Putting Off Death" CD/LP/Track Review Putting Off Death
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 17, 2017
Read "Asian Fields Variations" CD/LP/Track Review Asian Fields Variations
by John Kelman
Published: May 21, 2017
Read "Moldy Figs" CD/LP/Track Review Moldy Figs
by Paul Rauch
Published: July 10, 2017
Read "All My Treasures" CD/LP/Track Review All My Treasures
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 20, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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

Please support out sponsor