This woman has a huge voice and a wide range of expression; she wrote ten of the 14 songs, co-wrote one of the four remaining and elected to cover one, I'm A Little Mixed Up, by Betty James, a tribute to Koko Taylor who was a big influence on her; a gem by Jimmy Crackling, He Is Everything To Me, and one from the Public Domain, 'Cause I'm A Soldier. The songs are good and, while they don't break any new ground, they are wonderfully suited to her voice. She is generally sticking to Chicago Blues, though particularly on Beautiful Hat, with Rich Del Grosso on mandolin, it goes out into the country.
The players here are reflective of the styles she covers. This is a widely varied group and they are all from the top shelf. Bob Margolin is on guitar a fair majority of the time and he is at his stinging best; when he isn't playing it is some like Anson Funderburgh or Jonn Del Toro Richardson or someone of similar caliber. Bob Corritore handles the harp duties; for the most part the rhythm section is varied bunch, but that isn't a slight, they are good. There is one wonderful tribute here as Diunna's grandmother sings a song at 102-years-old; and the next cut is Diunna's version of the same song. You can see where the voice comes from.
The recording was done in Tempe, Arizona, which leads one to think that Bob Corritore had a good hand in this one as a few of his favorite players; Patrick Ryan and Chris James lend their talents to her effort. This is a very good disc from this Houston singer; she shows her chops and has a fine voice. It is not breaking any new ground however it is a very solid new addition to the collection and deserves much airplay, which it will undoubtedly get. You can envision what might be coming down the tracks, and I want to hear it.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2011, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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