Music fads come and music fads go, but the blues is always with us and helping keep the tradition strong is Detroit’s JANIVA MAGNESS.
The seven times Blues Music Award winner has just released a fine 6 track mini album that helps define what contemporary blues is all about. ‘Blue Again’ offers Janiva’s news spins on half a dozen blues and soul standards like Bo Diddley’s ‘I Can Tell’, Etta James and Harvey Fuqua’s ‘If I Can’t Have You’. Joe Hinton’s ‘Tired Of Walking’ and Nina Simone’s ‘Buck’.
Undoubted highlight for the soul crowd though is Ms Magness’ version of ‘I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know’. Written by Al Kooper, the song, of course, was immortalised by Donny Hathaway and though this new treatment is more blues-flavoured, Janiva matches all the slow burning passion and commitment of Hathaway’s classic take. It’s ample proof as to why she’s only the second woman ever to win the BB King Blues Entertainer of the Year Award (the other, earlier female winner was the redoubtable KoKo Taylor)
JANIVA MAGNESS; BLUE AGAIN is out now on Blue Elan Records