Following the well-received reaction of her Memories Of Etta live shows, Blues Singer Kaz Hawkins has recorded an album of Etta James tracks. Featuring an impressive list of session musicians, and a familiar selection of songs; is it worth picking up?
The track list boasts a memorable selection of tracks from James’ repertoire, starting with Something’s Got a Hold on Me, moving through a string of Etta’s finest tracks including Miss Pitiful, Tell Mama, Spoonful and St Louis Blues. These recordings closely replicate the original arrangements but have enough life in them to be interesting. The production allows each instrument to breathe and stand out. Hawkins’ voice has a natural raw quality that suits these soulful slices of rhythm and blues, that switches between distinct vibes with ease. She emits the spirit of Etta, rather than trying to imitate every vocal inflection; Kaz is raspier in her vocal style.
The album ends with two of Etta’s most well-remembered tracks, I Just Wanna Make Love to You and At Last. These much-loved tracks are a necessity for any Etta tribute album, but their status as a staple of cover acts all over the world has meant there is a lot of competition; Kaz stands high among them.
Hawkins has released an album that pays tribute to the work of Etta James, without watering down the material. Respectful towards the original recordings, this is an album that Etta fans will be keen to hear, while possibly attracting new fans to the source material. Give it a listen!
- Something’s Got a Hold on Me
- Miss Pitiful
- Losers Weepers
- Tell Mama
- Blind Girl
- St Louis Blues
- I Just Wanna Make Love to You
- At Last
This review forms part of the New Music, Vintage Style section of our website; showcasing contemporary artists who are carrying on the spirit of genres popular in the 40s to the 70s. If you know of an act who might fit the bill, email Jamie@OldTimeReview.co.uk.