" Out Of The Dark "

Sharrie Williams, two-time Blues Music Award nominee for Soul Blues & Traditional Female Artist of the Year, is back with another solid effort. Following her powerful Iím Here To Stay (also on Electro-Fi) in 2007, this new one follows similarly and deserves even higher praises.

Born and raised in the projects of Saginaw, Michigan, Williams grew up surrounded by music and sang throughout her entire childhood as she was raised in a musical family. Over her years Williams has had the opportunity to collaborate with national recording artists such as Honeyboy Edwards, Buddy Guy, and the greatly underrated Larry McCray and Larry Garner. Itís obvious she took it all in, learned, and now her artistic fruits are blooming. Thirteen of fourteen tracks were either authored or co-authored by Williams.

"Can't Nobody' opens this disc and slowly burns with a heavy dose of her nifty background singers. The title tune is a cover of a song that Walter "Wolfman" Washington recorded in 1987. As Williams nails it, thereís also a beautiful guitar solo from Lars Kutschke. I am certain the "Wolfman" would approve. As suspected "What ís Wrong With You" is all jive and blues."Need More Money" is short and sweet; it also swings and scats smartly. "Although I Sing The Blues" bears similarity to "Out Of The Dark" with likewise drama and sophistication. Itís all soul on "Gone Too Long" with another tantalizing sax solo from Michael Skulski. The sometimes hi-speed "Gatekeepers" shifts tempos, and makes for one heck of a well thought-out tune. A slow blues "R.I.P." closes this fine outing where Rufus Thomas, Robin Rogers, and other departed musicians are remembered, but for me itís a bit too cliche.

This is a great sounding and well-crafted album; the band is tight throughout and is further aided with excellent horn-charts from Gio Rossi (who does not play on this recording,) trombonist Chris Hermann, and guitarist Kutschke. As an emotive vocalist, Williams is definitely near the top of the pack in the blues world, but what makes her additionally potent is that she writes fine tunes, plus she co-produced with guitarists Kutschke. Kudos to executive producers Andrew Galloway (Electro-Fi) and Michael Cloeren for following up with this promising rising star We can only hope that itís not another four years till the next album. Bob Putignano a senior contributing editor at BluesWax. He is also the heart of Sounds of Blues at Bob maybe contacted at:

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