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Where Blues Begins

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Album Review

Deborah Coleman is a double rarity in the male-dominated world of contemporary blues: she's a female lead singer who's not imitating the bellowing "blues mama" persona so familiar to the genre, and she's one hell of a lead guitar player. Featuring Luther Allison's backing band, Where Blue Begins is a smooth blend of Coleman's furious fretwork and pussycat purr of a voice. Coleman's slide shreds up "Goodbye Misery," while her buoyant licks carry the Texas blues of "Travelin' South." Even when her lyrics come close to cliché, like on "Beside Myself" and "Hain't It Funny," she saves the songs with some wicked playing and her Joan Armatrading vocal stylings. This album proves Coleman's not a novelty but a rare talent in a genre that desperately needs some new blood.


Born: 03 October 1956 in Portsmouth, VA

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Blues guitarist and singer/songwriter Deborah Coleman -- like Ruth Brown and Gary U.S. Bonds, who also hail from the same part of coastal Virginia -- brings a certain old-school sense of dignity to all of her live shows. No matter where she is, no matter the size of the audience, she presents the blues with her varying backup bands in a thoroughly dignified, proud way. And well she should, as she's just following in the footsteps, in many ways, of her late great town-mate Ruth Brown, who always exuded...
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Where Blues Begins, Deborah Coleman
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