Kaz Hawkins has been on the Irish/British Blues and Soul scene for a long while and she has an amazing reputation as a dynamite live performer.
This collection of favourite numbers features some stellar writers and really show off her talents as a soul and jazz singer. We are talking songs by the likes of Etta James, Otis Redding, Steve Cropper, Willie Dixon W.C. Handy – all classics and all songs that will trip up the unskilled performer.
She opens the album with a strong and emotive version of Etta James’ ‘Something Got A Hold On Me’ and if has all the pizzazz and effervescent brattishness of the original. Richard Beester and Brian Corbett laying down some wicked horns and really driving the number along. Hawkins vocals have the soul punch the song deserves and it works right out of the gate.
‘Miss Pitiful’ is one os Steve Cropper & Otis Redding’s best numbers, covered time after time but Kaz Hawkins definitely catches the right groove with some sweet keyboards from Sam York and a subtle guitar line by Stef Paglia. The horns blow up a storm and it really does have the feel of a classic Otis number.
The Blues is well covered as well with a great version of ‘St Louis Blues’ – sleazy and louche and with massive drums from Wayne Proctor (who also produced it) – and Willie Dixon’s ‘Spoonful’ that really has a different take over either Cream or Howlin’ Wolf.
All the tracks are familiar and all of them have the sense of the originals but Kaz Hawkins voice is strong enough to put her own marker on them.
A really good and unexpected release.