Liz Mandeville got her first guitar when she was 16 and started playing professionally soon after. Through her parents she was exposed to many different types of art and music, galleries, gardens and museums.
Mandeville has a BA in music and also writes a blues column and is a blues DJ for WNUR. She has written and produced over 80 songs and recently started her own label.
Clarksdale Mississippi is the birthplace of the blues. It’s also the location of the famous Crossroads intersection of Highway 61 and 49. The title of the CD Clarksdale comes from a trip Mandeville took to the blues Mecca.
While there she had a sort of spiritual awakening, instilling in her an insatiable drive to finish the project.
Clarksdale starts strong with a bit of innuendo and blues/swing with “Roadside Produce Stand.” That is followed by an equally compelling honky tonk/blues “Mama and Daddy Blues.”
When listening to “No Fear/Everything”I was worried that Liz was going to blow a gasket. She really sings her soul out on this one. “Walking & Talking With You” has some really great harmonica solos and the lead guitar has a great tone.
The other two tracks that I really like on Clarksdale are “Sweet Potatoe Pie” and “My Mother Wears Combat Boots,” which is loaded with great lead guitar work.
While I think Clarksdale is a good blues album it’s not going to warrant the visit from Robert Johnson’s ghost that’s mentioned in the song “Clarksdale.” The music is good, the vocals are great, and the lyrics are sometimes funny, rebellious and just plain out there. It’s certainly worth your time to check it out.
Key Tracks: Roadside Produce Stand, Sweet Potato Pie, My Mama Wears Combat Boots
Kirk Bullough – Muzikreviews.com Staff
June 24, 2012