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Angela Streheli (from Ace of Blues on Antone’s Records/New West Records) (by Lee Zimmerman)
Angela Streheli has long since earned her Blues pedigree, beginning with her early music ventures in the 1970’s and 1980’s, proceeding through a storied career that found her performing and interacting with the likes of Muddy Waters, B.B, King, Albert King, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jeff Beck, Gregg Allman, and Johnny Winters, among many others. With her new album — her first in 20 years and aptly titled Ace of Blues -- she steps back into the spotlight, proving that even at the age of 78, she’s as vital and vivacious as ever.
‘I live the life I love and I Love the Life I Live’ she insists early on, and that’s evident in each of these inspired offerings. She takes a solid yet soulful stance on the album opener “Two Steps from the Blues” before veering into the upbeat, horn-infused revelry of “You Never Can Tell” and wringing pure passion from her performance of “Gamblin’ Blues”. Streheli subsequently hits her stride, and given the choice of material — spawned from such sources as Muddy Waters, O.V. Wright, Otis Clay, Elmore James, Jimmy Reed, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Milton, and Chuck Berry — her conviction and commitment are clear. So too, even the more familiar fare — a take on “Trying to Live My Life Without You” and “Take Out Some Insurance” being obvious examples — become a new and exhilarating experience through the prism of Streheli’s expressive delivery.
Angela Streheli’s story is shared through an interview included in the album’s inner sleeve and the personal stories behind each song shared in an enclosed booklet. Still, the most telling tribute comes in the form of her sole individual composition, a beautiful ballad called “SRV”, which she wrote and sings in tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughn, who she happened to meet and mentor early on. It sums up the sentiments shared throughout, and elevates the emotion that ignites the album overall. A stirring set of songs, Ace of Blues finds Streheli playing a winning hand. (By Lee Zimmerman)
Listen and buy the music of Angela Strehli from AMAZON
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