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Here I Am

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Album Review

When Mary Ann Redmond recorded Here I Am in 2000, she was a hot local attraction in the Washington, D.C., area. The expressive, whiskey-voiced singer wasn't well known nationally, but in and around D.C., people really swore by her. And listening to Here I Am, it isn't hard to understand why; this CD is an enriching example of what can happen when soul and rock intersect. All of Redmond's albums have some type of rock influence — like Tina Turner, Redmond is a soulstress with rock leanings — but Here I Am is especially rock-minded. Had this release come out in 1970 instead of 2000, it's quite possible that black radio would have responded to Redmond in much the same way that it responded to Ike and Tina Turner back then; in other words, some tracks would have enjoyed airplay on black radio, and some would have been considered "too rock." It's easy to envision the black radio of the late '60s and early '70s playing "Out on a Limb" or Redmond's version of the Supremes' "Stop in the Name of Love" (which she transforms into a slow, moody ballad). However, "Man on a Mission," the title track, and John Hiatt's "Cry Love" probably would have been considered "too rock" for black stations (just like some of Ike and Tina Turner's work). Regardless, Redmond is consistently soulful and funky. And while it is interesting to speculate on how Here I Am would have been received 25 or 30 years earlier, the fact is that Redmond isn't dealing with the '60s or '70s market — she's dealing with the 21st century market. In 2000, this excellent album was well received in the D.C. area, although one hoped that Redmond would become as well known nationally as she was locally.


Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s

Had singer Mary Ann Redmond started recording in the ‘60s or ‘70s instead of the ‘90s, it's quite possible that she would have gone down in history as one of the major soul stars of the Baby Boomer era. A gritty, rugged, big-voiced belter whose primary influences range from Ike & Tina Turner to Etta James and Aretha Franklin, Redmond would have been perfect for the gospel-influenced soul climate of the ‘60s and ‘70s. Perhaps she could appeal to the urban contemporary market of the 21st century if...
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Here I Am, Mary Ann Redmond
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