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CD REVIEW: ANN WILSON – The Ann Wilson Thing! EP

| 17 November 2015 | Reply

CD REVIEW: ANN WILSON – The Ann Wilson Thing! EP
Rounder Records
14 October, 2015
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

The Ann Wilson Thing cover

Heart singer extraordinaire Ann Wilson steps out of her sisterly comfort zone with this solo EP, exploring a trail of tears that takes her down a bluesier path than she has normally travelled, and gives us every opportunity to see how her vocal talents have landed her in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame.

Buffalo Springfield’s For What It’s Worth is transformed (as all the best covers should be) into a completely different beast. Ben Smith’s percussive bongos and Craig Bartock’s searing guitar play perfect accompaniment for Wilson’s powerful performance on this EP opener.

A co-write between herself and Bartock, Fool No More is a scorching slow blues full of texture, grace and pain. Lady sings the blues with spine-tingling results for the entire five-an-a-quarter minutes.

Aretha Franklin first released Ain’t No Way, written by her younger sister Carolyn, on the B-side of her 1968 single (Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You Been Gone. Wilson’s version here is a live rendition with just the right amount of passionate grit in her vocals, and sister Nancy guesting on backing vocals and guitar. It’s similarly stunning.

Closing track Danger Zone features just Wilson’s vocals and Chris Joyner’s keys, channeling the great ‘50s torch singers on this underrated classic previously covered by legends Wilson Pickett and Ray Charles. It takes a special panache to tackle a great song with such a sparse arrangement, and – no surprises – Wilson nails it in one, her vocals rich and warm through what sounds like an antique microphone.

The Ann Wilson Thing! Is not intended to rival Wilson’s day job with Heart, merely to give her an outlet to do something different, and she tackles it with true style and all the star quality to be expected of someone with her pedigree.

Category: CD Reviews

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