Monday, September 23, 2013
Album Review: Eileen Howard - Blues In The Green Room
Blues In The Green Room is a wonderful introduction to a jazz vocalist with an unforgettable voice. This is the fourth album by the New York City based vocalist.
Eileen Howard belts out classic songs like "Fever" and "Frim Fram Sauce" with style and panache.
These are songs that have been recorded many times over by the likes of Madonna and Diana Krall, to name a few, but Eileen brings something fresh to these songs that you don't get with any of the other versions out there.
There's more to this album than the great songs though. In between many of the tracks, Eileen treats her audience to a little bit of humor in the form of "Eileen's Reasons To Sing The Blues." Reason number 3 is fat, and it is a perfect segway into Willie Dixon's "Build For Comfort" that has the opening line "Some folk built like this. Some folk built like that. But the way I'm built, don't you call me fat."
"Its Easy To Remember" is a gentle ballad. Its old fashioned melody is one of the slowest on the album and that sets it apart from most of the songs on this recording that are much livelier.
Eileen's version of "Everyone's Crying Mercy" is probably one of the best out there, with the exception of Elvis Costello's version off his 1995 album Kojak Variety. This song is Eileen showing everyone that is listening what the blues are about.
"I Need A Little Sugar In My Bowl" is full of sexy fun. The song fits perfectly in a set with "Frim Fram Sauce" and "Black Coffee." It makes reason number 3 for singing the blues a little clearer.
"Black Coffee" is a slow and sexy number. As you listen to Eileen sing, you can picture yourself at the Garden Theater in Columbus, OH.
One of the most uplifting and fun blues numbers is "Wild Women Don't Have The Blues."
Reason number 11 to sing the blues is menopause which leads into "Lost Mind." it would be fabulous if the album would have included all the other reasons, because Eileen's wit is just as good as her singing.
The album appropriately closes with "One For My Baby (And One More For The Road)." This is a great closing time song.
If you've never listened to Eileen Howard before this album, you'll be wowed by the experience and will want to hear more. If you are already a fan, this album is a wonderful gem to add to your collection
Listen: Wild Women Don't Have The Blues