The Triangle (Extended Edition)
Melody Place Music
Classics and More Re-Imagined as Soul Drenched Blues Heartbreakers and Tearjerkers.
Coincidentally it was at SummerTyne Festival a few years ago, which was meant to take place last weekend but sadly cancelled because of the ‘Covid restrictions’ that I first discovered Lisa Mills; when she played a solo slot one afternoon to a small; but very influential and appreciative crowd of Geordie Music fans.
But; for me it’s been a long wait for new music; and even then, this release which first came out last year as a 14 track CD to coincide with a Tour which didn’t ever turn up at RMHQ, has now been gussied up and 4 sparkling new songs added.
We certainly live in strange times, as in the intervening year Lisa has gone back into the studio and added a couple of extra and it’s fair to say; very special songs to go alongside the originals.
Opening track Greenwood, Mississippi opens with some pretty funky guitar work before Lisa enters the fray with her trademarked raspy (and dare I say it?) sexy vocals on a Classic Blues belter, worthy of Maggie Bell or Bonnie Raitt at the height of their combined powers.
While I expect many of these tracks to be expanded when played live; as Fred Mollin, Brennan White’s and Michael Toles’ guitar playing throughout is as exciting as it is exemplary; but on record these songs are generally stories for listening to and well worth the effort.
The laid back and tight groove of I’m In Love is very nearly what we used to call a ‘Power Ballad’ but the way Lisa purrs the chorus and on I’ll Always Love You too; makes these two beauties undoubtedly Soul infused Blues Classics for the 21st Century surely?
For an Electric Blues Band; these cats can cause a mood change in a heartbeat; none more so than the Gospel Luscious Travel On and their rendition of I’d Rather Go Blind; where they really do make Lisa Mills shine in the spotlight; as she surely deserves.
The more I’ve played this album; the less I know where to fit it in my collection; as it’s definitely Blues to the core; but with a Southern Soulful heart; yet there are songs here too, like Someone Else is Steppin’ In and Members Only that had my mind wandering back to the re-invention of Tina Turner!
Trying to Get To You is a super-cool late night payen, in the style of Dorothy Moore (?) to a lost love that would have melted on every schoolgirl’s stereo had it been a single in the 1970’s; and even though it’s a brave choice to include here as a Torch Song; of course Just Walking in the Rain is guaranteed to be a tearjerker, even after all these years.
Then there is Groove Me …… yikes, it’s almost like one of those mysterious ‘white label’ Northern Soul 45’s the Cool DJ’s would slip on and lovelorn kids would join together like horny limpets.
Whatever; the one thing that infuses every single track is Sheer Class; with none more so than the two that I can’t seperate for the accolade of RMHQ Favourite Song; the funky-ass Tell Mama and the sultry A Place Nobody Can Find; which are like chalk and cheese in style; but both had me shaking and shimmying around the office a couple of times.
The former Tell Mama is a R&B Rocker Deluxe and when the band kick in dance halls across the Western World will fill up instantly; whereas A Place Nobody Can Find, has harmonies worthy of the Supremes and the band straight outta downtown Memphis, as Lisa sounds like a cat on heat.
Perhaps it’s been a case of ‘right place/right time’ for this album; as it arrived during a Summer heatwave and Lisa’s singing and arrangements have really and truly touched my Soul in ways I’d forgot music can.