Album Review: Emma Wilson – Live & Acoustic – Released Independently.
Emma is a Teesside based vocalist of some note who will be familiar among festival and gig-goers as she has fronted her own Emma Wilson Blues Band and shared stages with many other top-level performers. On this mini-album, she gets to showcase the purity and range of her vocal prowess.
This is just Emma with acoustic guitar provided by Al Harrington, joined on two tracks by additional guitarist Paul Donnelly. Four of the five tracks are well-chosen covers but for me, the original opener Wish Her Well is the stand-out.
It’s a well-written song about lost love but with a slight twist that sets it apart and Emma delivers the vocal beautifully, her voice has a sweetness and clarity and unlike many singers out there, her diction is tremendous.
Next up is I’m Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down by Earl Randle. The version I’m most familiar with is by Graham Parker but Emma puts her own stamp on it, showing great control on what is a difficult lyric to sing.
Following this is the Screaming Jay Hawkins classic I Put A Spell On You. This version definitely takes the song to a different place, the slight menace of the original replaced and turning it into a plaintive love song.
The final two tracks are more traditional blues numbers and with Paul joining the party the raunchy level goes up a little.
The old Roosevelt Sykes number, Night Time Is The Right Time finds Emma showing a bit more grit without losing any of the distinctiveness or clarity of her vocal, really opening up and hitting the ceiling on the outro.
Emma continues in the same vein on her version of the Willie Dixon penned Hoochie Coochie Mama sounding loud and proud.
I hope the radio play this has garnered, especially for Wish Her Well encourages Emma to record more and to write more, there is gold waiting to be discovered and I’d love to hear an album of originals with a full electric band.
Album Review by Steve Yourglivch
Emma Wilson is also featured in the print version of Blues Matters! In issue 109, in our Blue Blood section where we introduce new artists to you. You can get single copies and subscriptions through the subscription link on this website.
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