Pat Pepin - In It For the Long Haul
Pat Pepin is an accomplished musician with a knack for writing some great songs and playing some mean sax. This self-released CD is her third and it is a fun and interesting set of a dozen tunes, eight of which were penned by her and another jointly authored by her and EG Kight.
She has a clear, resonant and beautiful voice to go with her strident instrumentals. In addition to vocals and the saxes, she adds trombone and acoustic guitar to the CD. Bob Colwell is on piano, organ, bass and clarinet, Steve Jones (not me, some other Steve Jones) is on guitar, bass, dobro, banjo and tambourine, Dave Thibodeau is on bass, Richard Hollis is on drums, conga and tambourine, and Angela Plato is on trumpet. Pat Colwell’s lead guitar is featured on “Long Haul Trucker”. They are a solid, cohesive and talented group.
Pat is at her best vocally here on the slower, bluesy stuff like “Ain’t What You Got”, “Sunday Kind of Love” (a cover), and “Left Me Lonely”. She emotes more of her feisty red-haired vocal self in these three tracks than in any of the others. That’s not a knock on the other nine cuts that she sings so well on, she just seems to let it all hang out far more on these three.
In “Can’t Take it With You” we get a great New Orleans funeral march sort of song with some catchy lyrics on top of her solid tenor sax and other great instrumental solos. “Long Haul Trucker” gives us an innuendo filled set of lyrics in a Dick Dale-like tune with really nice guitar work by Colwell. The covers “Why Me” and “This Dress” are just as much fun as her original stuff. She adds her own flavors to these tracks to make them bright and enjoyable. The bonus track is a hilarious novelty song entitled “Living at Wal-Mart”, and I can picture Pepin cutting up with her audiences on tracks like this.
I’ve never had the pleasure of hearing this down-Mainer live yet, but I hope to remedy that soon! She has represented her home state three times in the International Blues Challenge and this CD made the final 4 in this years “Best Self-Produced CD Competition”, so watch out for this hot, sax playing blues vocalist; she’s an act you won’t want to miss!
Reviewer Steve Jones is secretary of the Crossroads Blues Society in Rockford. IL.
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