Christine Ohlman

Wicked Time

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Ohlman's second studio album is another big move forward for this multi-talented singer/songwriter. Her band, Rebel Montez, plays with solid assurance and less reliance on guest stars this time around, and Eric Fletcher's guitar work peppers the mix with tasty fills and sometimes surprisingly savage leads. The team of bassist Michael Colbath and drummer Larry Donahue is as solid as they come, bringing to mind the economy of the Stax rhythm section in spots, while Ohlman's straight-up acoustic guitar is the glue that holds these tracks together. Ohlman sings her rear end off on gems like "When I Work My Thang on You," "When the Summer Goes," and "Let's Burn," and delivers terrific takes on the Rolling Stones' "Heart of Stone" and Ike and Tina's "I Idolize You." But ultimately it's Christine's songwriting that has taken the biggest leap forward, and tracks like the bone-chilling "Turn" and the seductive "Circle 'Round the Sun" are just two of the hidden treasures on this mighty slab of music. Well done.

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