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13 Reviews
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Extended Jams on an "Enhanced" CD
This is a great live blues CD. The recording and engineering are hit and miss, at time capturing the music with texture and depth, but also at times losing the vocals (maybe intentionally?). The venue is a microbrewery, and you can feel the attentive and enthusiastic crowd close to the stage. But, the band's backing vocals are weak present, and not mixed that well into...
Published on January 23, 2004 by Sir Charles Panther

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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Much ado about nothing
Ms. Coleman's talents are mediocre at best. There is nothing here but run-of-the-mill singing and absolutely cliche'd, uninteresting guitar phrasing. Her solos are way, way too long and just ... not good. Indeed, some of her playing isn't even in tune. I find it a bit embarrassing that they even released this album. I am shocked to read all these positive reviews - are...
Published on June 5, 2010 by Sam Kane


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Extended Jams on an "Enhanced" CD, January 23, 2004
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This review is from: Soul Be It (Audio CD)
This is a great live blues CD. The recording and engineering are hit and miss, at time capturing the music with texture and depth, but also at times losing the vocals (maybe intentionally?). The venue is a microbrewery, and you can feel the attentive and enthusiastic crowd close to the stage. But, the band's backing vocals are weak present, and not mixed that well into the recording. More than a few times Coleman's vocals are not as in front of the music as they should be. You can really here this on "You're With Me."
There are eight tracks, coming in at 55:35. The longest is "Goodbye Misery" at 12:05, and the shortest is "You're With Me" at 3:33. That makes average track length about 6:50, showing that this album really is not about showcasing various songs or range or capturing various previous-release gems live. The album does not seem to be conceived as a cynical, profit-driven live version of previously released material. This album is about getting up on stage and getting down, jamming with your mates and reacting to the crowd. This is the essence of this album, a celebration of get-down blues jam, led by Coleman and her guitar solos. The second guitarist, Billy Crawford, does get to work out on his own, getting three solos, one on "Don't Lie to Me" and two on the long "Goodbye Misery." Since there are only four members in the band, it's disappointing that neither the drummer nor the bass player get their own solos.
Coleman's voice at times is a bit, uh, unrefined and flat. Her natural register is low-end, and she can't hit the highs nor does she have a ringing or pulsing tremolo. But she's getting the job done, singing from the heart and with flair. I think of the singing of Tom Petty, Elvis Costello, Joe Strummer, even Clarence Carter and other blues legends, who also aren't necessarily powerful singers, yet their souls are into it, as is Coleman's here. She's no Anita Baker, but she's making it work.
She opens with "Brick," that she's "gonna chunk upside yo' head." Great stuff, and a very well-chosen opener. It's upbeat and is clearly gets the crowd up and moving right away.
Next is "My Heart Bleeds Blue," This is my favorite track, and the reason I purchased the CD. I like the tone and especially the texture and feel of the rhythm guitar. The song is highly evocative of B. B. King's classic "The Thrill is Gone." Coleman's got a 4-odd-minute guitar solo taking the song out, not to mention her short solo in the middle. Great jamming blues, at its absolute best. You'll notice on this track Coleman's solo style of launching a nice riff, building on it, and then returning to it after a number of bars to start the process once again.
She then tells the crowd "It's boogie time again," and launches into "Don't Lie To Me." There are a number of licks highly reminiscent of Steve Ray Vaughan here, plus more extended guitar jams inside and on the way out, going 7+ minutes.
Next is the blues anthem, "I'm a Woman." The lyrics don't make a whole lot of sense, but the music makes up for it. More extended guitar jamming throughout the song. Me, I hear a bit of Buddy Guy in the jam here.
Coleman introduces "You're With Me" as being about life on the road, being away from home, etc. Its sound is very reminiscent of "My Heart Bleeds Blue" with the changes and pace. There's also a good increased-tempo solo in the middle with some nice driving cymbal in the back. She follows with a lively "I Believe," a jump blues tune. Both this one and "You're With Me" are surprisingly short, given the extended jams on the rest of the album.
"The Dream" is a nice slower jam, opening with a distinct Texas sound. The closer, "Goodbye Misery" is the perfect way to take the show out. Yeah, there's some Allman Bros. sound in here, in some of the solo riff harmonies.
The disc is an "enhanced CD," with "extras." If you just pop this into your DVD or a PC player, its own software will run its own application. You can play or stop the music, and that's about it for music controls, other than being allowed to select specific songs. Your only other options are to run a video, link to the Blind Pig web site, or quit the application. I dropped the CD into my PC (with a media application running) and just wanted to hear the music. The playback was horribly skippy and choppy, with all kinds of pop-ups and messages about video fees and playback options.
The only real additional feature is a video-ette of Coleman's solo in the middle of "Goodbye Misery." The camera stays on her, and we see just about nothing else of the rest of the band, unless they're also in the shot. The video fades in after she's begun her solo, and fades out before she completes it. Why didn't Blind Pig provide the entire song, or at least the full solo? I also note that there are no still photos to enjoy, which would have been a nice and simple addition to the enhanced CD.
All in all, this is a good recording of a talented guitarist and her band jamming hard and long at a club. This is not guitar virtuoso work or a blues master spilling his/her guts after 65 years or singing the blues. This is a rockin' four-piece combo that knows how to work together and work it out, and that's exactly what they do. If you're looking for masterful lightning guitar work or crystal-clear engineering, this isn't the recording for you. But if you're looking for a rocking CD to play during your own house party, then this is the one to use.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smokin'!, January 18, 2003
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This review is from: Soul Be It (Audio CD)
This CD flat out smokes! If you are interested at all in great guitar work that will melt the fret board, give this disc a listen. Don't Lie To Me, I'm A Woman, and Goodbye Misery are some of the best songs/ extended jams I have ever heard. This woman can really play.
Sure it would be fair to say, that Deborah is not true to straight forward blues format, but so what?! This disc leans towards the blues/rock side, and you will not be disappointed. Pick this up!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Jams and great songs, January 18, 2006
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This review is from: Soul Be It (Audio CD)
I had the pleasure of seeing DC in concert recently and this is what you get- longer versions of her songs. She's a great singer, songwriter, guitarist, and interpreter of other songs. How this doesn't get played on the radio is beyond me. All songs here are very good with the 12 minute closer "Goodbye Misery" the standout. A really great underrated artist at her peak.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smokin' blues player!, October 11, 2007
This review is from: Soul Be It (Audio CD)
The reviews on Amazon were right. This gal can play. Cast off your "women can't play the blues" attitude and take a listen. Deborah is a somkin', grindin', soul-ful player. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great blues from Blind Pig, December 24, 2002
By 
K. Eames "Just a guy with a nose" (Down in the valley, the valley below) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Soul Be It (Audio CD)
I heard a report on Blind Pig's 25th anniversary and Deborah Coleman on NPR, so I went in search of her live CD. I found it while traveling in San Antonio, and listened to it most of the way north up I-35. Deborah Coleman offers some hard-driving electric blues that sizzles. "My Heart Bleeds Blue" is a great turn-it-up tune, and a quasi-cover of Muddy Water's "Mannish Boy" is a classic. To quote Robbie Robertson from "The Last Waltz", this is "blues at its most." Also, check out Coleman's contribution to the Blind Pig 25th anniversay compilation. It's good stuff!
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5.0 out of 5 stars great licks, December 1, 2002
This review is from: Soul Be It (Audio CD)
recorded live at the sierra neveda brewery the cd contains 8 songs from her previous blindpig recordings through the years. the first thing is that the cd is recorded with great quality sound, one of the best live recordings i ever heard. from the opening of albert collins "brick" to the 13 minute jam "goodbye misery" that has an allman brothers sounding jam in the middle, this, the only thing is that i thought the songs played live could have been some of me fav"s like they raided the joint and travellin south but overall a great live cd
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lady Plays the Blues, March 8, 2006
By 
Mark E. Tippery "Guitar & Pinot Noir" (Arlington Heights, IL United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Soul Be It (Audio CD)
This live effort from Deborah Coleman is a very enjoyable evening of the blues from one of our modern blues players. While considering the insights I wanted to offer to those considering this disc the phrase- "just plain fun" kept coming to mind. While Deborah does not exemplify the range of vocals of perhaps Shemekia Copeland or the guitar wizardry of some of her contemporaries she packages her talents at both into a pleasing and inviting effort. While listening to live recordings I always consider two crucial questions, is it a quality recording and did I wish I had been there the night it was recorded. This offering passed the litmus test on both fronts. It is a solid recording and I wish I had been in the audience first hand. Deborah is a gracious and inviting artist that plays and sings with a level of sincerity and enjoyment that is obvious. At different times during the show I feel like I am in a Texas roadhouse such as the cut "Don't Lie To Me", a smoky Chicago Blues club during "I'm A Woman" or, at one point in the tour de force closer "Goodbye Misery", in the middle of a Grateful Dead jam. I know, I know- but just listen for it! Deborah beings a freshness, diversity and heart that is a welcome addition to my collection. I believe Deborah's best is yet to come- stay tuned!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Deborah Coleman CD, September 1, 2008
This review is from: Soul Be It (Audio CD)
I recently purchased the Deborah Coleman "Soul Be It" CD. It came as promised and in excellent condition. Besides the CD being one of the best blues albums I've ever heard, I highly recommend this seller.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WHEW, March 23, 2003
By 
John (rochester, mn United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Soul Be It (Audio CD)
I just got home from watching and listening Deborah Coleman preform. She played many of the tracks tonite including "Brick" and the last cut on the Cd, a 14 minute masterpiece,"Goodbye Misery." WHEW is about all i can say. This woman truly plays her butt off. The live recording is one of the best i've heard and i highly recommend it.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soul Be It, November 8, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Soul Be It (Audio CD)
She is a great live performer, I've seen her several times. This album captures here energy.
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Soul Be It
Soul Be It by Deborah Coleman (Audio CD - 2002)
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