This album hit the decks with a sense of anticipation as the follow-up album to the sensational She’s Ready; and as the first note of warm guitar from Dudley Ross became the intro for Katie’s sultry vocals I was instantly engaged this album had my full attention and bluesdoodles knew they were in for a musical treat.
Anchor Baby Sessions is jammed packed full of smooth sounds from the varied vocal range of Katie, with soul, blues and gospel put to masterful use so that every track has its own identity and musical feel ensuring that the lyrical tone and poetry is enhanced and never drowned out. This is achieved by empathetic accompaniment by Dudley on guitar whose timing is impeccable and augments the tonal quality that Katie is producing as shown with the lead break of such purity and intensity as One Day fades away. A Katie Bradley album would not be complete if you did not have some spectacular haunting harp from her sweet lips that shapes the notes to pierce your blues soul and make your hairs stand on edge as your body responds to the clarity of each note as the harp is used to great effect throughout the album.
I’d Rather Go Blind is a track we all have many versions of; here is another take of Etta’s song and it is the backing vocals that give this version a ghostly feel, once again Dudley and Katie perfectly augment each other’s musicality. Aaron Birks on keys adds more tone and passion and the drumming from Wez Johnson has a purity that this track needs with all the emotions pouring out of the speakers – this track as they say is a keeper adding to the lexicon of quality versions of this classic.
What a contrast with The Levy, swampy blues, a little bit dirty and conjures up slow-moving waters full of dark shadows with harp that really adds to this effect, once again her talent has layers and layers of depth and musical understanding,
We are treated to two versions of Long Way From Home, first the full band as the slide guitar hints of country blues the track moves along at a pace that gets the feet tapping to accompany the beat of the drum, this is a song destined to be a classic the lyrics so suit the music and Katie’s voice. The acoustic version is full of slide and harp and gives a sultry take as the whole number is slowed down – shows what talent can do with a track!
The last number Some Kind Of Women opens with Drums and Keys giving a bass sound that will move this track along and is a perfect end as unfortunately there is always an end to any album – great thing with modern plays you can put on repeat, listen randomly the album works just fine any way you want to listen.
This is blues with an edge that really works Anchor Baby is a class album with a mix of self-penned and clever renditions of Little Walter, James Cotton, Etta James and Luther Allison and will get Katie lots of nominations once again!
Bluesdoodles gives this CD TEN doodle paws out of TEN ….
Katie Bradley – Vox/blues-harp
Dudley Ross – Guitar
Aaron Birks – Keys
Wez Johnson – Drums
Available to Pre-Order Now: ‘Anchor Baby’ is the new album by Katie Bradley featuring material that is already receiving a lot of attention from the Blues Radio and Press. To celebrate this milestone, the first 50 orders of the album will receive a signed limited edition piece of artwork designed by artist Andrew Budell. The album will be despatched on the 1st October by Chrome Note Records.
The album will be Officially launched on 16/10/14 at the beginning of Katie’s Tour of England and Scotland. Twenty two dates with her stellar band and Kirk Fletcher – Tour dates and tickets: follow the link you will not be disappointed