Etta James – Matriarch of the Blues

Etta James – Matriarch of the Blues

Etta James – Matriarch of the Blues – (Private Music 2000)

Etta James is the more than just the matriarch of the Blues; she is the true queen goddess. In over forty years of performing she has influenced generations of artists. Her newest accomplishment is Matriarch of the Blues produced by her sons Donto and Sametto, and Executive Producer Lupe Deleon. The album features the Donto and Sametto on drums and bass. They are joined by an assortment of skilled players including Josh Sklair, Bobby Murray, Leo Nocentell on guitars, David K. Matthews on piano, Tom Poole on trumpet, Jimmy Z. Zavala on saxophone and many more.

The true star of this CD is James and songs. From beginning to end the album predominates in style. James’ vocals drive the songs forward like a thunderclap preceding rain. The songs include Bob Dylan’s “Gotta Serve Somebody”, “Al Green’s “Rhymes”, and Creedence Clearwater’s “Born on the Bayou” with strong guitar grooves. “Miss You” by the Rolling Stones becomes a story narrated seductively by James that begs the listener to come in. James captures the soul of every song and transforms it into a Blues standard, and then something more. Fans of rock, R&B, and Blues will all find something in this album.

Matriarch of the Blues presents James at her best. It also shows that her sons have learned much from their mother. They will never be the only ones. James’ music is legendary. Although the throne on the album cover is empty, as long as James is around, there is only one Blues goddess.

November 1st, 2000