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Heal My Blues

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Album Review

Although this is the U.K. blues belter/guitarist's solo debut, Dani Wilde already made an impression on many blues fans as one-third of the 2008 Blues Caravan, a European tour that found her sharing a stage, and the resulting CD, with Candye Kane and Deborah Coleman. That's impressive and somewhat intimidating company for a newcomer, but she proved she could hold her own with those veterans. This album, belatedly available in the U.S. in August of 2009 after being released in Europe in 2008, shows the excitement was justified. Except for Maggie Bell, England hasn't produced many gritty, raunchy female blues singers, and Wilde fills that void handily. She's an adequate lead guitarist and an average songwriter who relies on standard blues changes and blues-rock forms. But it's her voice — a sexy, confident, raspy howl that seems barely contained in the studio — that makes Wilde such an instant star. Susan Tedeschi comparisons are inevitable, especially since Wilde's bio explains that she started singing after seeing the American singer live. It also follows that Janis Joplin is an obvious mile-marker, yet Wilde has her own personality. She's brassy and flaunts her man-loving sexuality freely with "I Want Your Loving," "Bring Your Loving Home," and the title track. She borrows a little too liberally from Joplin on "I Love You More Than I Hate Myself," a ringer for "Kosmic Blues"'s slow, sensual grind. Brother Will Wilde blows Paul Butterfield-styled harmonica throughout, bringing an additional edge, especially to propulsive rockers like "Testify." She lays back, displaying her Delta guitar talents, on a cover of John Lee Hooker's "I'm in the Mood," one of the disc's three covers. The upbeat country blues of "Slow Coach" is a nifty changeup and the closing unaccompanied ballad, "People Like You," also displays her vocal restraint. On that track she sounds remarkably similar to Lone Justice's Maria McKee in her phrasing and vocal approach. It also shows her ability to color outside the more typical blues and blues-rock lines she stays within the majority of the time on this striking first effort.

Biography

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '00s, '10s

British blues and soul singer Dani Wilde grew up in Hullavington in Wiltshire, where her father’s record collection, full of Motown, Stax, and Chess sides, convinced her that she wanted to sing and perform, and by the age of 17 she was opening for the likes of Maddy Prior. When she turned 18, Wilde moved to Brighton to pursue a degree in music and took whatever singing spots she could find, quickly finding an audience, and by the end of 2006 she was opening for Jools Holland at the Royal Albert Hall....
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Heal My Blues, Dani Wilde
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