Monday, 4 August 2014

Rita Engedalen - My Mother's Blues

Universal Language

Singing the Blues is the universal expression of a universal feeling, but it still seems a little incongruous to find it in such fine female fettle in Norway. Dispelling such a naive thought, Norwegian singer Rita Engedalen presents twelve tracks of country and folk blues, her vocal a little variable, but at its best having a husky emotive edge. Title track My Mother's Blues is a plaintive tale with a fiddle lament; third She Let The Eagle Fly is a slow blues stomp with the American blues/gospel singer Ruthie Foster providing great quest vocal and harmony, and eighth The Hill has Engedalen singing at her emotive best where a slightly raw warble conveys the weariness one expects from the Blues. I mention because, as stated, her voice can be variable, as on seventh track Epitaph [Black and Blue] where it lacks conviction. But I'm now listening to eleventh Me and Rosa Lee as I write and this is an excellent acoustic guitar blues where Rita's vocal is as blues-native as it can be, even in Norway.

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