Angela Strehli – Blue Highway
This is Angela's first studio recording in seven years. It is true a tour de force which contains all of the elements which have forged her unique style, blues, americana and great songwriting. The album kicks off with a tribute Angela wrote for the documentary film Antones: Austin's Home of the Blues. Next comes the title track, "Blue Highway", an instant classic which features pals Marcia Ball and Maria Muldaur, followed by "Hello My Lover", originally done by Ernie K-Doe, but transformed here into an irresistible duet with Paul Thorn. Next is a stirring tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan, who championed her time and again in his career. Then she lightens the mood with "Slipped, Tripped, and Fell in Love", followed by a hard-hitting original blues "I Don't Know Why". Before you can catch your breath, Strehli launches into Inez Andrew's "Don't Move My Mountain" with a commanding performance. Then an unexpected surprise which illuminates her love of all things Mexican, "Headed South". Finally, a bittersweet ballad, "Always Love You", brings a soothing moment before the album's fitting closer from Stevie Ray Vaughan Live At Carnegie Hall, the absolutely smoking "C.O.D.". Every step of the way, Blue Highway will lead you on a journey you'll want to take time and time again.
1. Austin's Home of the Blues - 4:44 2. Blue Highway - 4:17 3. Hello My Lover - 3:36 4. SRV - 4:29 5. Slipped, Tripped and Fell in Love - 3:39 6. I Don't Know Why - 4:06 7. Lord, Don't Move the Mountain - 3:20 8. Headed South - 4:51 9. Always Love You - 4:21 10. C.O.D. - 5:37
1. AllMusic - Rick Anderson
Singer/songwriter Angela Strehli has been a fixture on the Austin blues scene for decades now, but as her first studio album in seven years demonstrates, her range extends beyond the blues and well into country, soul, and roots rock. At 60 years old, her voice is strong and slightly gritty around the edges, and her delivery is powerful and authoritative. She manages to take material like the Ann Peebles classic "Slipped, Tripped and Fell in Love" and Ernie K-Doe's "Hello My Lover" and make it all her own (though she has help on the latter from singer Paul Thorn), and her originals are mostly quite good as well. (Her tribute to the late Stevie Ray Vaughan, titled "SRV," is sweet but maybe just a bit on the overly sentimental side.) Fellow blueswomen Marcia Ball and Maria Muldaur join her on the rollicking title song. But the album's finest moment comes at the very end; the last track is a live version of the old blues song "C.O.D.," performed by Strehli with Vaughan and his band, Double Trouble, at Carnegie Hall in 1985. The combination of her powerful voice and his blockbusting guitar is amazing. Recommended.
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