Francine Reed

I Got a Right!...To Some of My Best

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There aren't many women who can sing the blues like this semi-legendary Atlanta-based belter, and as the title indicates, I Got a Right! compiles 13 audience favorites onto one CD. Since the original recordings of most of these tunes were tied up in legal wrangling when Ichiban records went under, Reed and longtime collaborator Marvin Taylor simply took the band back into the studio and re-recorded the suckers, boasting proudly in the liner notes that most of these versions came on the first or second take. It's a smart approach that captures the fresh feel of Reed's raucous live shows, where songs like "Been There, Done That" and "One Monkey (Don't Stop No Show)" have earned her a Mae West-like reputation. Fan and friend Willie Nelson stops by for a duet on the lilting, New Orleans-style jazz of "The Night Life," and Reed finds a personal anthem of sorts in the brassy "Wild Women Don't Get the Blues." Her band is in top form here, with a sizzling horn section and smoking guitar solos from Taylor, but Reed is undoubtedly the star of this show, howling, wailing, and growling with every ounce of passion in her soul. If you're a blues fan and don't know Francine Reed, here's a wonderful chance to find out what you've been missing.

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