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Bitter Sweet Blues

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Audio CD, October 12, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

As one-third of the sassy ladies who make up Saffire, Gaye Adegbalola is just as potent solo as she is with her compatriots, though she gets along with a little help from such luminaries as Rory Block and Tom Principato. Smart, savvy, witty, and unabashedly outspoken, Adegbalola continues the Saffire tradition on her solo debut of calling attention to some pretty severe social issues with sympathy and incisive clarity. It's all good blues, too, from the energy and humor of "She Just Wants to Dance" to the sultry take on "Need a Little Sugar in My Bowl" to the stomp of an updated "Jail House Blues" (which makes mention of how many women in U.S. prisons are mothers) to the heavy march and angry slide guitar of "Nightmare" (which, along with "You Don't Have to Take It (Like I Did)," addresses the specter of domestic abuse). While Adegbalola's approach is feminist, it's neither polemical nor narrow-minded, and she's got a healthy sense of humor as well, as "Big Ovaries, Baby" and "The Dog Was Here First" handily illustrate. And while "Nothing's Changed" contains all the rage that witnessing a lifetime of injustice can bring (in referring to the well-publicized murder of James Byrd, she sings, "Just change that name to Jim, and that Byrd is still a crow"), her final message is one of hope. On "Let Go, Let God," she concludes, "God won't give me no more than I can bear." An all-around stellar debut that marks Adegbalola as deserving of wider recognition in her own right. --Genevieve Williams

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Bitter Sweet Blues
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