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CHERRY LEE MEWIS Southbound Train (2010)

Cherry Lee Mewis

Southbound Train is the ‘tricky' second album from Cherry Lee Mewis, a 24 year old singer songwriter from Colwyn Bay in North Wales. A follow up to her self released 2007 debut Little Girl Blue, it's another personal and contemporary take on the blues roots genre.

With able support from long time collaborator, guitarist and co producer Max Milligan, Nicky Slater (acoustic guitar and dobro), Robbie Mathews (bass and backing vocals), Jeff Dakin (blues harp) and Flow (drums), the album is a fusion blues standards by the likes of Koko Taylor (All You Need), Blind Willie McTell (Oh Lord Send Me An Angel), Memphis Minnie (Kissing In The Dark) and Charlie Papa Jackson (Shake That Thing) and new material. That they blend seamlessly, speaks volumes for the overall feel that shifts from slow smoldering blues rockers to jazzy blues shuffles.

The centerpiece though, is Cherry's whiskey soaked vocals that are soulful and tender beyond her years. The nearest comparator is probably Imelda May, while others may choose to draw comparisons with Duffy's recent updating of sixties soul.

From a commercial perspective, many may find Southbound Train a little too left of centre, although there's no denying the quality of the performance and production are first class. On the other hand, Cherry Lee Mewis could just as easily be one of the break trough artists in 2010. A spot on Later … With Jools Holland may be all that's needed to fuel that fire?


Review by Pete Whalley

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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