Talk about your odd left turns. Rory Block, mainly known in the blues world for her acoustic Delta stylings, doesn't quite
plug in her guitar for I'm Every Woman
(yes, the title track is a cover of the Whitney Houston
tune), but there are some electric instruments in there, right enough. Perhaps not content with sticking to the Delta, Block wanders further afield than usual with this CD, exploring gospel, R&B, and folk territory. For her backing band, Block has a host of guest stars that would do anyone proud: Pacific Northwestern folk-bluesman Kelly Joe Phelps
, Piedmont mainstays Paul Rishell and Annie Raines
, contemporary blues star Keb' Mo'
's Gaye Adegbalola, and Block's own son Jordan are among those Block duets with, to excellent results. This release will certainly surprise Block's fans--especially the Whitney Houston cover--but her talent, sincerity, and heartfelt expressiveness carry the day. --Genevieve Williams