Shake The Love Around
A Gin Fizz Cocktail of the Blues.
Sadly I rarely get the time these days to let albums ‘grow on me’; but my workload this week has meant that reviews had to go on the back burner until the weekend; so I left this beauty in the car stereo and my patience has most certainly been rewarded.
Not for the first time recently SHAKE YOUR LOVE AROUND didn’t quite capture my attention when I first played it a couple of weeks ago, but there was ‘something’ in Suzie Vinnick’s voice that made me want to come back to it; then on Sunday night ‘BINGO’ it hit me.
Hypothetically, if Bonnie Raitt was a cocktail she’d most likely be an Old Fashioned with it’s exotic blend of fiery whisky and exotic herbs; so using that logic Suzie Vinnick would be a Gin Fizz……..smooth but with an occasional sweet and sour after taste; and with more than one cherry on the top!
Some rather funky guitar chords open Happy as Hell before Ms. Vinnick’s sultry voice glides into the groove on a bitter sweet late night Urban Blues song that is just perfect for the last dance.
Maybe it’s the mood I’ve been in recently; but these predominantly sad tales have really captured my heart; with the harmonies on Lean Into The Light and Find Some Freedom, mercifully taking the edge off two raw heart-breakers and later on the winsome Drift Away she could bring a tear to a glass eye!
As aficionados know, there can be a playful side to The Blues Too and Suzie Vinnick shows her sassy side on All I Wanna Do and the mildly anthemic Find Some Freedom, which, I’m sure will have the mobile phones held aloft when played in concert.
Many of my favourite Blues artistes have always occasionally flirted with Jazz at times; and that’s the case here on Creaking Pines and perhaps A Hundred and Ten In The Shade too; but in fairness that’s the type of Southern Blues that dips it’s toe into many musical ponds and comes out fresh and cool in equal measures.
While it was most certainly Suzie Vinnick’s vocals that brought me back here; but she sure plays a mean guitar too, which is probably why I made the Bonnie Raitt connection. Listen to her make her electric guitar moan and groan in time to the clever lyrics and story in Watch Me and an acoustic on the beautifully incisive Golden Rule when she goes all Laurel Canyon for us.
As I said at the beginning there are certainly a couple of ‘cherries on the top’ of this Gin Fizz of an album; Lean Into The Light is just one of those songs that it’s difficult to put into words why you like it; but that bass-line (again provided by Ms Vinnick) is straight outta the Chic play book, but the song is Blues Deluxe! The other Joint Winner of the RMHQ Favourite Song Accolade is Danger Zone and it’s actually a bit of an oddity as it’s just Suzie accompany herself on the bass guitar; but bizarrely it works a lot better than it has any right to.
In a ‘blind tasting’ I doubt anyone would hear this album and guess Suzie Vinnick is Canadia born and bred; but she is and that possibly even helps her sound as cool and reverential as she does throughout this dozen quite exquisite songs.
Shake The Love Around? It’s a keeper!
Released Canada March 9th 2018
Released Europe 16th November 2018