Black Crow Moan
A Blues Rockin’ Emotional Rollercoaster.
I was first told about this album two months ago, and due to the vagaries of the Postal system in the US at the moment, it’s now arrived three weeks after the original release date.
Hey Ho! Due to the Covid-19 ‘lock-down’ around the world time appears to be standing still; so no harm – no foul!
Yikes! First song, Don’t Judge The Blues opens with some of the dirtiest Resonator guitar I may ever have heard; and not just sets the tone for the next two and a half minutes; but the whole album itself! It’s a veritable foot-stomper with Eliza’s expressive voice showing no signs of wear and tear in the three years since her last release; 10,000 Feet Below …… which still finds it’s way onto the Rocking Magpie Mobile stereo.
I received this album at about 9.30 this morning and it’s been hermetically sealed to the office stereo all day …….. and the expression ’emotional rollercoaster’ has sprung to mind several times ….. phew, this lady has absolutely drained me over the last nine hours!
I will get the ‘Guest Stars’ out of the way early on; as this album is about Eliza, pure and simple; but Joe Louis Walker adds his amazing trademark guitar licks to The Devil Don’t Love You and the title track Black Crow Moan; but doesn’t even come close to ‘stealing the show’ on either; with the former being a sizzling Gospel song and the latter a fabulously slow and slinky ballad that will set the hair on your neck on end.
The other is a new name to me, Derek St Holmes from Ted Nugent’s band; but fear not comrades; he shows an immaculately subtle touch on the emotionally fragile Never Stray and then on Ball & Chain gives us a bit of an Albert King style Masterclass as Eliza raises her game in the sultriest of manners; proving that she really, really should be taken more seriously by Blues Aficionados and critics the world over.
On Why You Ooglin’ Me? she not just matches those two Cats, note for note on the electric guitar, but her words and vocal performance show she’s a lady that’s not to be messed with ……… she fights back, and most likely wins!
For an hour this afternoon album closer, the Chuck Berry homage Take Your Pants Off! was a shoe-in to be my Favourite Track here; and history will probably show it be a Show-Stealer and Show-Stopper at future gigs; but I’m now being drawn back to the innovative Watch Me Fly and the intensely romantic Run Sugar Run; which is now tipping the scales in its favour, as it’s just that ‘little bit different’ and is now touching me in ways the other one isn’t; so Run Sugar Run is the Official RMHQ Favourite Track ….. for today.
Because of my historical love of ‘Blues Rock’ PR’s and Labels across the world somehow find our tiny site and inundate us with albums by singers and bands with only a hint of The Blues in their music; and for future reference …… I/we grew out of Hard Rock when we a) learnt to shave and b) discovered girls!
Eliza Neals on the other hand takes the Blues and Rocks every drop of passion, pathos and S.O.U.L out of it in a way that could and should actually the benchmark for the genre.
Released April 20th 2020