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When your father is a noted blues guitarist (Roy Gaines) and your uncle a rock and roll/ R’n’B sax blaster who helped to define the style (Grady Gaines), I guess you’re going to be involved in the blues yourself. Well, Carolyn has promoted, taught, and written about the blues, and now she’s singing them too (or at least singing them again - she did sing as a youngster), in a sassy style that owes a little to Big Mama Thornton, Billie Holiday, Tina Turner, Little Esther and Koko Taylor - but she certainly establishes her own personality.
The CD includes three numbers with the legendary Big Jay McNeely supplying his customarily wild sax playing, and her cousin Grady Gaines Jr. continuing the family sax tradition in fine style on a further two. Carolyn’s material draws inspiration from older performers like Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Blind Boy Fuller and more modern figures such as Buddy Guy, Howling Wolf, John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters. Unusually for a blues release these days, this album consists of the blues pure and simple all the way through, strong, sassy, sexy and celebratory. Carolyn closes out the set with a wonderful rendition of Big Jay’s classic blues ballad, ‘Something On Your Mind’ that stays on the mind long after the CD ends… impressive.
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