Christine Ohlman & Rebel Montez
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As its title infers, this 18-track collection is a recap of the recorded career of soulful rocking singer Christine Ohlman, aka the Beehive Queen. A handful of tracks is sampled from each of her three studio releases (1996's The Hard Way, 2000's Wicked Time, and Strip from 2003), but the real fun comes courtesy of the smattering of live, demo, and alternate takes along with two newly recorded blues covers, all debuting here. Ohlman never sings a tune halfway. She injects soul and inspiration through every note, wringing the last drop of emotion out of material tailored for her husky voice. Her tough, urban approach to originals swaggers like a street punk looking for a rumble on the rough side of town. She's the distaff side of Willy DeVille, strutting down the avenue with a sassy attitude hiding a heart of gold. Her rugged Rebel Montez band is primed for its supporting role, acting as the swampy rock heart that pumps blood into the veins of songs that never overstay their welcome. Versions of Dan Penn's "It Tears Me Up," Howlin' Wolf's "Killing Floor," and John Lee Hooker's "Dimples" highlight the blues influences underpinning Ohlman's originals, which dominate the disc. She's the leader of the pack, and if the Shangri-Las were making rock music in the '90s, it would likely sound something like "Sugar Melts," a sexed-up story that exudes all the spunk of Mary Weiss in cougar mode. Throaty ballads such as the Springsteen-styled "The Hard Way" don't lessen the tension, either, even if the guitars lay back a bit more. Why the public never caught on to Ohlman's albums is hard to say, but this generous compilation is a terrific introduction to a singer/songwriter who owns everything she touches.
What?!? Odd comment
As another fan of blue-eyed soul, I don’t know where GH1234 is coming from, but Grayson Hugh is about as far from Air Supply and that smooth stuff as a hawk from the moon! Hugh is acclaimed around the world for his RAW and incredibly passionate and ROOTSY blue-eyed soul singing - not to mention his masterful piano playing. Don’t think GH1234 has ever been to G. Hugh concert! I like Christine Oilman too, but let's get your references straight, GH1234! Abba and Air Supply are easy listening. Grayson Hugh is a wild man - and a high energy performer with the added gift of poetry.
If You Want Etta...
It's more Dusty than Etta...Blue-eyed Blues. If you see her perform live you'll understand that she is the real deal. "Turn" alone is proof enough!
Just visited The Turning Point Cafe and she gave a great performance. She has a great band and her voice is as soulful as ever. I'm not sure where this guy Jarntop is coming from - perhaps he failed the cowbell audition, but her music is good old fashioned rock and roll. This probably won't fit in well with your Abba, Air Supply or Grayson Hugh collections. But then again, it's not supposed to.
Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s
Top Albums and Songs by Christine Ohlman
||Love Make You Do Stupid Things (with Eric "Roscoe" Ambel)||The Deep End||4:22||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||What's the Matter With You Baby (with Marshall Crenshaw & Levon Helm)||The Deep End||2:29||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||The Deep End (with Al Anderson)||The Deep End||4:09||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Cry Baby Cry (with Dion DiMucci)||The Deep End||3:30||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||There Ain't No Cure (with Ian Hunter)||The Deep End||4:02||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Crazy for My Baby||The Songs of Willie Dixon||3:21||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Crash On the Levee (Down In the Flood)||The Hard Way||4:15||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Not Fade Away||Radio Queen||4:10||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Love You Right (with Al Anderson)||The Deep End||3:51||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Like Honey||The Deep End||4:57||$0.99||View in iTunes|