Monday, 3 August 2015

Bring it on home to me

I have been to see the excellent Lisa Mills in concert at the Caroline Street Social Club, which is a proper Phoenix Nights style working mens' club complete with bingo going on in the other bar. It proved however to be a very good venue (except for the lack of alcohol free beer) and was packed.

Ms Mills hails from Mississippi and currently lives in Mobile, Alabama so I'm not entirely sure what she made of Saltaire (indeed her website claims that it's in Wales), although as it's a World Heritage Site I hope that she found time to have a look round. Being typically keen to please as Americans always are, she told the audience that it was as hot and humid in Bradford as it was back home. In the interests of accuracy I must point out that it, er, wasn't.

Still, one doesn't come to see her for meteorological reports, one comes for the voice; and what a voice it is. She has toured with Big Brother and the Holding Company as guest lead vocalist and Janis Joplin is a reasonable starting point for describing the type of singer she is. Mills was happy to take on songs closely associated with artists such as Dusty Springfield, Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone and Sam Cooke and demonstrated the vocal chops to justify that. Her repertoire covered blues, gospel, soul and country and she was equally adept at them all. She has worked with people such as Andy Fairweather Low, who I last saw in Eric Clapton's band, and Albert Lee, who I last saw in Bill Wyman's band.

Anyway, don't believe me, judge for yourself. I chose the first song below, partly for the lyrics (listen carefully Crumb) and partly because the original idea for the song came from the CFO at the company owned by her brother. That's right, it's at the intersection of accountancy and the blues; a bit like your bloggist really.

The second song that I've chosen is a cover of Irma Thomas' "It's Raining", because, as we know, Ms Mills also dabbles in weather reports.

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