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Learned My Lesson

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Album Review

All the songs played in Chicago blues clubs don't necessarily have 12 bars. Many of Chicago's blues singers are also R&B and/or rock singers, and Zora Young is a prime example. Based in Chi-Town but originally from Mississippi, the expressive singer provides an enjoyable, if derivative, blues/soul/rock mix on her 2000 date Learned My Lesson. Young is far from a blues purist — while "My Man's an Undertaker" and Young originals like the humorous "Pity Party" are straight-up urban blues, she confidently detours into soul and rock territory on "Girl Friend" (another Young original) and sweaty performances of Ike & Tina Turner's "Nutbush City Limits" and Chuck Berry's "Living in the U.S.A." Meanwhile, Young draws heavily on her gospel background on a passionate version of Percy Mayfield's "Please Send Me Someone to Love." No one will accuse Young of being an innovator; drawing on such influences as Koko Taylor and Etta James, she is quite derivative. But a CD doesn't have to be groundbreaking to be likable, and Learned My Lesson is a CD that's easy to like.


Born: 21 January 1948 in West Point, MS

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Despite the prominent presence of celebrated blues artist Howlin' Wolf in her family tree, singer Zora Young grew up singing not blues, but gospel. Even when the Mississippi native shook off her roots at the age of seven to relocate with her family to Chicago, she attended the Greater Harvest Baptist Church and continued to sing gospel. It wasn't until later that she switched over to R&B, and evolved into a powerhouse blues vocalist with three decades of experience behind her. She has performed with...
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Learned My Lesson, Zora Young
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