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Blues Ain't Pretty

Janiva Magness

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Album Review

It's a long way from Michigan to the West Coast, but Janiva Magness didn't lose a bit of that great Detroit R&B influence when she made the trip. She gained a dedicated, ardent fan base in the L.A. area and she enlisted some of the area's finest for this one. Kirk Fletcher and Kid Ramos tear it up on guitar. Songwriter Jeff Turmes plays bass and contributes some fine songs, particularly the slow smoker "The More I Keep on Losin'." Brother Red Young lays down some greasy B3, especially on the Ray Charles/Percy Mayfield tune "Tell Me How Do You Feel." And Magness is a little powerhouse throughout, just as comfortable shifting from Ruth Brown to James Brown. Fun stuff.

Biography

Born: Detroit, MI

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Blues and soul singer Janiva Magness was no stranger to trouble and hard times growing up, and at her best, she pours that lifetime of emotion into her passionate phrasing and vocal delivery. Born in Detroit, Magness grew up with her father's blues and country record collection, as well as the city's wonderfully Motown pop-soul sound, all of which shaped her style and approach as a musician. She lost both of her parents to suicide while in her early teens, and she ended up living on the streets,...
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Blues Ain't Pretty, Janiva Magness
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