Deborah Coleman

Soft Place to Fall

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For her third recording, Coleman continues to show the promise that her previous CDs gave a glimpse of. While still not as much of a blues devotee as she could be, she gives all indications of being a solid performer, a steadily improving vocalist, and a decent guitarist. She wrote three of the 11 cuts here, and they're the best of the lot. "What Goes Around" is a good 12-bar tune about cheatin' and messin' around; "Another Hoping Fool" is a slinky blues number about waiting by the telephone for that reassuring late-night call; and the title track sounds much like a Dire Straits tune, especially in the spare guitar playing of Coleman and Jack Holder. Coleman interprets Little Johnny Taylor's "If You Love Me Like You Say" in a cool funk mode, jumps into the direct blues of the adapted classic "I'm a Woman," and rocks the Jerry Williams number "Nothin' to Do With Love," which has all the potential to be a legitimate hit. On the boogie beat of "Don't Lie to Me" and the hard swing of the getting-back-to-love statement "So Damn Easy," Coleman changes up a bit to a more authentic blues style. She rocks on the simple "Look What You Do to Me," rocks even harder for "Confused," and goes into a more Southern-rock area on "The Day It Comes." She also uses pop/R&B-ish background vocals on "Look What You Do," "The Day," and "So Damn Easy." Deborah Coleman is still on the trail of eclipsing Sue Foley, Debbie Davies, and Susan Tedeschi to take her place as the high priestess of contemporary blues. While not there yet, she has all the tools and musical ability to reach that lofty perch.

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