Susan Williams & The Wright Groove
It’s About Time
Heartbreak Doesn’t Get Much More Soulful or Blue than This.
With all the ‘big hitters’ due for April release written and posted I was looking for something new and ‘interesting’ last night and flicked through 9 or 10 releases listening to snippets that would catch my attention…….. nothing, nada, nowt. Then I scrambled through the CD box and came across this; which (presumably because of the uninspiring cover art) wasn’t on my laptop.
‘That voice’ inside my head told me to give it a go……. Ooohhheee Mary and Joseph!
Even the first few chords of opening track Tell Me You Love Me piqued my interest; but when Susan William’s wise, smoky and soulful voice entered the frey, I swear I got a shiver down my spine. To a greater or lesser degree a tale of a woman done wrong by her man should be dull as ditch-water in 2019, but Susan’s words sound like something that everyone from Billie Holliday through to Bonnie and Lucinda could and should have sung; but Susan Williams and her razor sharp band offer us a killer insight into this sad ole tale of a broken hearted woman.
There’s the age old adage that you should never upset a songwriter; but whoever this scoundrel is in Ms Williams life is (or was) doesn’t just get it with both barrels across these crisp Soulful and Blue songs; but Susan sprays him from every angle with venom and metaphorical buckshot on One Way Street and Meet Me In The Middle.
*As a side note One Way Street itself and possibly I’m Sorry could both easily be turned on their head and be sung by a man who is just as broken hearted. #JustSaying
I’ve got to be careful how I talk about some of these articulate songs; as the Feminist Brigade could well come after me; but while Susan does take on the role of the woman who begs her man not to leave her on the sorrowful Please Come Back To Me and the funkilicious I Love What You Do; you can’t feel sorry for her as she just sounds lonely and desperately in L.O.V.E with a cad who, we all know is no good; but Hell…….. we all know someone like her (and him) don’t we?
The singer, Bless her does get feisty too and threatens to give as good as she gets on the stinging You’ve Got Another Thing Coming ……. and I found myself rooting for her and mentally shouting “You go girl!” Hahaha.
What makes these songs extra special is the classy way that Susan Williams inhabits her character and imbibes her songs with all the articulate detail normal folk only think of three days after an argument!
While I’ve instantly fallen in love with this whole album two songs which actually morph from one to another tie for the accolade of RMHQ Favourite Song.
Shame On You is not your actual run of the mill ‘cheating song;’ with Susan taking on the role of downtrodden housewife that knows she should leave; but life is not always that simple, is it……. plus in the background the band’s twin basses create a brooding atmosphere that is only lightened by the cool harmony singers; and the final line is a bonafide killer!
This is immediatly followed by I’m Sorry, which may or may not be about the same characters but this lady has now found her backbone ………. and……. well; I ain’t gonna spoil the magic for you 😉
There’s a lot going on here; not least Susan William’s delightfully ‘lived in ‘voice, which is perfect for her songs; but every now and again the band are allowed the freedom to highlight the lyrics with either a seamless or stinging guitar solo from Mike Gallemore, or a taut and strained drum solo from Rob Davies, while Mike Cruse supplies the occasional flourish on the keys that makes the song take on a whole new perspective.
But what really makes this album and band really special is the intriguing use of two basses; Susan Williams herself and Darryl Wright who can alternate from Jazz Lite through Funk and into Memphis Soul in the blink of an eye.
I’m not altogether sure but it looks like these songs, and possibly the album itself have been around the Chicago Blues scene for a couple of years; but is now getting a worldwide release as it’s being entered into the 2019 International Blues Challenge; and if I’m not mistaken I can’t think of many, if any other ‘Self-Produced’ albums that comes even close to the heights IT’S ABOUT TIME reaches.
Released April 21st 2019