LOW SOCIETY You Can’t Keep A Good Woman Down.
Never was a truer word spoken than the title here. Vocalist Mandy Lemons belts out her vocals straight from the off, taking no prisoners throughout in much the same way that Joplin slew all before her. Along with her partner in crime, Sturgis Nikides, a former John Cale sideman, they have produced an album of original songs that demonstrates their love of Blues, Rock and Soul, interlacing northern attitude with southern variety. The whole is an excellent mix of brash, in-yer-face music. Opening with the boogie-like Crammed & Jammed, with its busy Delta sounding slide guitar and thick keyboard layer, the band sets out its stall. Lemons leads most definitely from the front, a lady aware of her capabilities, and not afraid to front them. A raw twelve bar follows, Voodoo Woman, with subtle slide and thick staccato bass lines, it doesn’t take much to imagine Lemons as that Voodoo Woman. Need Yer Love on the other hand is almost a pastiche of Marlene Dietrich Cabaret style, but offered in a southern manner. In a nutshell, these three tracks sum up the ability to vary their style and sound as found throughout the album. Son House Says possesses a smooth jazzy feel with some lovely keyboard work from Rick Steff. The title track is a great stomping rocker with Lemons well out ahead, Nikides retorting with slide. Reverting To Blues, This Heart Of Mine is a great slow ballad. Furthermore it allows Lemons the opportunity to demonstrate that she is more than just a belter as she sings this track quite beautifully. The instrumentation here is handled most sympathetically, adding to the soulful feel of the whole. Let Me Ride is yet another song that veers into a former age, seeming almost hymn-like in its subject of chariots and what seems like the need for call and response. No Money Down could fall easily into the C&W stable, another song that Lemons sings well. By now you should have the picture, a raunchy album with powerhouse vocalist and great musicians who can really lay it down.