Michelle Willson

Wake up Call

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Songstress Michelle Willson tears it up on her jazz-infused blues set Wake up Call. The album is rife with dancing organs, bouncing drums, a sizzling saxophone, and the robust vocal stylings of Willson. The album opener and title track is an entirely funky affair. Willson's voice struts over a groovin' rhythm, bass clarinet accents, and soulful Hammond B3 organ trills. It is impossible to not be moved by this performer. With her lush, sultry, and robust voice, Willson can get a rise out of a stone statue. The smoking blues-rock anthem "Just Like a Dog [Barking up the Wrong Tree]" is among the disc's many shining moments and boasts a siren of a saxophone line and Willson, again, cutting it up. Five of the 13 tracks are originals by Willson -- she generally performs music by other songwriters and artists -- and they fit right in with the disc's funky jazz-blues. "Set You Free," one of Willson's own, snaps, crackles, and pops as the singer says good riddance to a deadbeat lover. What a bouncin' good time this recording is. Just try to sit still while listening -- it won't happen. Willson's singing is like a strong cup of Joe -- it beelines right to the gut and jolts the system. If there ever was a wake-up call, this worthy album would be it.

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