Blues Attack

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Michael G. Nastos
Shirley Johnson has toiled regularly in Chicago nightspots for decades, and follows up her successful Delmark CD Killer Diller with this set of originals and soul standards, sporting all of the rich tradition and solid singing style made popular by many less talented vocalists. Her voice is well preserved, not evidencing any abuse or overuse, and represents the best in this tradition of female artists who recognize aspects of being played, while answering with a few tricks and schemes of their own. Johnson is truly a great blues singer, with a deeper tone than Chi-Town contemporary Koko Taylor, refined in a similar manner to her main influence and fellow Norfolk, VA, ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Michael G. Nastos
Shirley Johnson has toiled regularly in Chicago nightspots for decades, and follows up her successful Delmark CD Killer Diller with this set of originals and soul standards, sporting all of the rich tradition and solid singing style made popular by many less talented vocalists. Her voice is well preserved, not evidencing any abuse or overuse, and represents the best in this tradition of female artists who recognize aspects of being played, while answering with a few tricks and schemes of their own. Johnson is truly a great blues singer, with a deeper tone than Chi-Town contemporary Koko Taylor, refined in a similar manner to her main influence and fellow Norfolk, VA, native Ruth Brown, with a wise, doting attitude à la Mavis Staples. She has solid support from up to a six-piece horn section on a handful of tracks, backup singers, and her band with guitarist Luke Pytel, keyboardist Roosevelt Purifoy, bassist Lovely Fuller, Jr., and drummer Cordell Teague, all quite able, competent bluesmen. Though Maurice John Vaughn does not play guitar on this date, he is present and accounted for in composing or co-composing five of the songs. "You're Reckless" is a typical stern bad lover blues shuffle; "Selfish Kind of Gal" flips the switch as Johnson adopts a choogling beat while stating in an insular manner that she's "breakin' hearts and havin' fun"; and the potential hit "Lost and Alone" is at once demanding and unsettled, with the singer unwilling to put up with "second hand crap." "You Shouldn't Have Been There" has Johnson singing a ballad of regret or possible two-timing, and goes 180 degrees again in a ray of hope and movin' on during "I'm Going to Find Me a Lover." Ever mindful of her status as a soul veteran, she does great versions of the Stax classic "634-5789" from the book of Wilson Pickett and the Ray Charles evergreen "Unchain My Heart" with a marvelous free intro, both with her backup singers. Johnson's bandmembers also contribute songs, as Purifoy wrote the slower, funky, contemporary "My Baby Played Me for a Fool." Fuller co-penned the title track, referring not to a militaristic attack or heart attack but rather a blues attack, as also heard on the classic-style 12-bar "Just Like That" and the combo funk
etro-soul song of dismissal "Take Your Foot Off My Back." Shirley Johnson has been around the north side of Chicago since the early '80s, and if you are in her neighborhood, you owe it to yourself to check one of her performances out. Meanwhile, this excellent recording will do just fine instead.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/10/2009
  • Label: Delmark
  • UPC: 038153079826
  • Catalog Number: 798
  • Sales rank: 135,787

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Shirley Johnson Primary Artist, Vocals
Kenny Anderson Trumpet, Accompaniment
Willie Henderson Baritone Saxophone, Accompaniment
Herb Walker Rhythm Guitar, Accompaniment
Hank Ford Tenor Saxophone, Accompaniment
Lawrence Fields Tenor Saxophone, Soloist, Accompaniment
Roberta Thomas Tambourine, Background Vocals, Accompaniment
Cordell Teague Drums, Accompaniment
Lovely "JR" Fuller Bass, Accompaniment
Luke Pytel Guitar, Accompaniment
Technical Credits
Steve Cropper Composer
Kenny Anderson Horn Arrangements
Robert G. Koester Producer
Maurice John Vaughn Composer
David Whiteis Liner Notes
Marc PoKempner Cover Photo
Roberta Thomas Arranger
Roosevelt Purifoy Composer
Vaughn Composer
Steve Wagner Producer, Engineer
Fuller Composer
Lenis Guess Composer
Powell Composer
Sharp Composer
Quintus McCormick Composer
Floyd Composer
Emmanuela Tao Composer
Thomas Composer
Johnson Composer
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