Power up that CD player and set off on a journey back in time with this debut album from Gina Sicilia. Sounding like the long lost daughter of an r&b legend like Laverne Baker or Ruth Brown, her voice echoes round the room evoking memories of smoky juke joints back in the Fifties. She mixes her own compositions with covers in a remarkably seamless manner too.
Bluesbunny has noticed that there are fewer great blues vocalists than their used to be. There are plenty of guitarists but few interpreters of songs. This is where Ms Sicilia wins. She can actually sing. Slower songs like "That Much Further" and the moving "When My Ship Comes In" work best showing true passion and making that all important emotional contact with the listener. Her jaunty cover of Etta James' "Pushover" is effective and we also worked up a particular fondness for the title track, the bayou tinged "Allow Me to Confess".
No doubt about it, Gina Sicilia has a strong voice and it is used to good effect with the songs on this album. She shows a respect for the blues tradition in her singing - and her song writing - that is to be commended, especially for one so young. However, despite the tasteful production by Dave Gross, the blues cannot, and should not, live in the past and we would welcome hearing Ms Sicilia in a more contemporary sonic setting. Bluesbunny thinks that there is a lot more potential to be realised than is evident from the songs on this album. A worthy album therefore but we think that the next one will be even better. In fact, we will stake money on it. Available by worldwide mail order from CD Baby