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You Could Have It All

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Album Review

Pamela Rose has returned to her blues/R&B side for her third release with a program of red beans and rice, chitlins', and greens — tunes all of which Rose wrote in collaboration with someone else, mostly Jeff Ervin. The R&B, bluesy surrounding is given credibility by the instrument that is the bulwark of that genre, the Hammond B3 organ, played by Tony Stead. But there's plenty of help from the dripping guitars of Carl Lockett and Danny Caron and the honking tenor and baritone saxophones of Ervin and Johnny Bamont, recalling the likes of Heywood Henry, Leslie Johnakins, and Buddy Lucas, who regularly accompanied the best of the singers of this type of music. Rose has that pleading, catch-in-the-voice style that makes R&B funk work to its best advantage. She uses these devices to advantage on her uncomplicated, earthy tales of romance, unrequited love, and other day-to-day situations which R&B describes best. There is no doubt of the high level of Rose's performance and the way she has taken to the blue-tinged material. She is wise enough to offer a break or two from the doleful material. In fact, one of the best tracks on the CD is a swinging "Wake Up," where she demands that people get off the couch, away from the TV screen, and "Drop the mouse/Leave the house/Come on, get out and make a scene." This track is also noted for some exiting but loose ensemble playing. You Could Have It All offers just the right blend of the melancholy side of the blues with the more upbeat side of that genre performed by outstanding musicians. This is an album you'll want for both the vocalizing and the instrumentalists.

You Could Have It All, Pamela Rose
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