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Bitter Sweet Blues

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Album Review

With Bitter Sweet Blues, Gaye Adegbalola has produced an album that starts off where her work with Saffire the Uppity Blues Women left off, and jumps into a new, adventurous space. An expanded cast of musicians and more personal lyrics are some of the benefits to going solo, and Adegbalola makes use of both well. Each song has either humor or power, sometimes both. The only thing that seems incongruous is the mixture of songs with wildly varying moods and topics. While satirical woman-power songs like "Big Ovaries" are empowering and funny, when paired with "Nightmare" — a powerful, personal song about child molestation — the effect is somewhat gross. The feminist politics of both songs mesh rather well, but it is difficult for the listener to shift from laughing at bawdy sexuality to somber empathy in just a few tracks. Overall, though, this is a fine first solo effort that resonates with spirit and emotion.

Biography

Born: 21 March 1944 in Fredericksburg, VA

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '90s

Gaye Adegbalola is best-known to blues fans as the flamboyant, flashy, very funny frontwoman for Saffire, The Uppity Blues Women. But on her debut release as a solo artist for Alligator Records, she's in fine voice, accompanied by some great players and, true-to-form, pushing into new thematic ground in her lyrics. That's why Adegbalola is a breath of fresh air on the contemporary blues scene, and now that Saffire have slowed their pace of touring, with any luck, Adegbalola will be on tour in a town...
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Bitter Sweet Blues, Gaye Adegbalola
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