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CD Reviews  Jill Sharpe Pet My Kitty


 
One of the many benefits of living in Southern California is the abundance of Blues artists that reside here.  With our fabulous weather and many nightclubs, it gives them the opportunity to obtain steady work while they are not on the road.  Etta James, The Mighty Flyers, Walter Trout and Kid Ramos are just a few of the contemporary Blues stars that call Southern Cal their home.
 
  Additionally, we are blessed with a wide variety of Blues artists that are just that ‘one big break’ away from making The Big Time.  We are fortunate that on any given night of the week, we can be entertained by the likes ofJill Sharpe Lynwood Slim, Robert Lukas, Freddie Brooks, Mark Hummel, B.B. Chung King and the Buddha Heads and the list goes on and on.  Miss
Jill Sharpe definitely falls into this category, and her new CD, Pet My Kitty, is proof of her status in this highly competitive arena.
 
  If you get the chance to see Jill at one of her shows, make sure you find an opportunity to meet her (buying her CD is a good start). But watch out, because she’s a lot to handle!  With her long blonde hair and gregarious personality, she wears her heart on one sleeve and her opinions on the other.  Make sure you shake the right hand or, as Sonny Boy once said: Don’t start her talkin’, ‘cause she might tell you everything she knows.  Trust me, this vixen knows a lot.  She’s been at this for most of her young life, and it is obvious that she’s done her homework.  She is very generous with praise for her mentors, which is just, because Jill must have learned early to take the things that she likes and shape them into a style that is all her own.  This, folks, is not plagiarism, it is the way it is done. From Robert Johnson to the Rolling Stones, it is the evolution of The Blues.
 

 
Pet My Kitty can be described as a fun recording.  The songs are all original, written entirely by Miss Sharpe, with the exception of the lyrics on I Wish You Knew, written by Michael Malone.  Miss Sharpe plays all the guitars and sings all the vocals, with the exception of backing vocals by Amie Seymour.  Fred Kaplan accompanies her on piano, Scott Lambert on upright bass, Smiley Long on 6 string bass and Eric Starr on drums.  Mark Jackson plays the harp and Larry Saxman plays the sax.
 
  Of the thirteen tracks on this recording, one of my favorites is
Drunk On Love, a rocking number in the classic Texas roadhouse tradition, but flavored with a little West Coast Swing.  The keyboards are excellent, both piano and organ, which makes this a great number to show off your moves on the dance floor.
 
 
I Got My Eye On You, begins with girlish chatter, then dives into a smooth blues boogie that swings with its suggestive lyrics and steady rhythm guitar.  She blends her aggressive lead guitar with her solid rhythm like a seasoned veteran.
 

 
Red Hot Mama is another example of Jill combining Texas Blues with a little swing.  (I love to drag out my 64-octave chromonica and play along with this one!)  Jill’s vocal really shines and the piano solo again adds some happy boogie to the clean guitar riffs.
 
  I don’t have the space to review every song on this CD, but I promise you that, if you enjoy Blues that makes you want to get up and shake what the good Lord gave ya, you can’t go wrong with this CD. 
 
  Be sure to catch Jill Sharpe and her band and have some fun.  Don’t forget to pick up her CD while you’re havin’ a ball and be sure to tell her Benny sent you. Just don’t make the mistake I did and wear a T-shirt promoting a certain abrasive, goateed harp player who also lives in SoCal—and who, by the way, is just as opinionated as Miss Sharpe! 

  Pat Benny

 
Visit Jill Sharpe at her website... Here



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