DIANE DURRETT & SOUL SUGA LIVE
"Ain't nobody gone blind looking at the bright side" sings Diane on the opening number here, a fine example of the positive nature of soul music, and there's no doubt that's what is on offer here. Recorded over two show s at Eddie's Attic in Decatur, Georgia in July 2017, this CD presents singer and guitarist Diane backed by a tight six piece band including two backing vocalists and supplemented by the funky trombone playing of Wes Funderburke, and also violinist Kerren Berz. There are several spoken tracks as Diane reminisces or involves the audience, but they help in creating the atmosphere. Some of the set is firmly in soul mode, of the 60s and 70s variety, whilst other tracks tend towards a singer – songwriter approach (particularly around the middle of the show) and the gospel tinged southern rock of the early 70s, though 'Woohoo' is a fine and fun blues. Influences seem to be along the lines of Aretha, Janis Joplin, Gladys Knight, Irma Thomas and maybe Sheryl Crow, and 'Don't That Bring You Back' references a couple of her funk favourites but this is very much Diane's show, and it is entertaining, thought-provoking, danceable, and above all involving.
Flying Shoes Blog ~ Norman Darwen
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Keys & Chords Review – Netherlands
Once Diane Durrett sang a duet with Sting. His answer was simplistic, but equally powerful and clear. “She’s good. She’s damn good ‘…. Last year Diane received a ‘Globe Peace Song Award’ for the song ‘The River Sings’, which was penned together by Melissa Junebug. In 2015 she won the ‘People Choice Award’ awarded by the Atlanta Blues Society, as well as an award for ‘Best Self-Produce Album’ by the Atlanta International Blues Challenge. With a mix of raw soulful vocals, sultry tunes and strong original songs, Durrett sang along with Sting, Gregg Allman and Chuck Leavell, the pianist at The Rolling Stone. She once opened for Tina Turner, Koko Taylor, Tinsley Ellis, Delbert McClinton and Derek Trucks. Diane Durrett has long reflected the musical passions that inspired her when she grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. Between the energetic debut debut ’50 .000 Volts of Soul ‘from 1993 and her soulful single and the Grammy Award winning song’ The Rose ‘(2017) we find a lot of diverging albums. The single, which was canned in co-production with Thom TK Kidd, is also found on her new ‘Live’ album. The songs were recorded somewhere in July 2017 in the blues club of Eddie’s Attic. With a sincere ‘are you ready for some soul and something sweet!’ Diane is announced by The Master of Cermony. The party can begin and that’s what Diane does with the soul-inspired ‘Bright Side’ and the funky ‘Butters In The Skillet’. Between every song we hear the interaction between Diane and her fansbase. The smoothy ‘It Is What It Is’ is colored by Funderburk trombone solo and from the gospel-tinted ‘Wish It Would Rain’ it goes fast to the extremely danceable ‘Love Has a Right To Be Wrong’. Just like in the heart-warming ‘Be Somebody Angel’ she praises her grandmother in the heavenly nicely built ‘All Is Well’ and the sweet sweets ‘In Between Times’. After a strong piece of percussion, the New Orleans brass band feeling comes in ‘Sassy Larue’. Diane grabs Cole Porter’s large musical candy drum with the classic ‘Summertime’. The funky ‘Do not That Bring You back’ brings everyone to swing in this seemingly sultry venue, just like the executive ‘Woohoo’. What a marvelous party it was not in Eddie’s Attic in Decatur, Georgia!
Rootstime Review - Belgium
After a short intro, Diane Durrett opens her show in July with the swinging “Bright Side”. The ten original songs and the cover on her setlist contain fragments of soul, blues and gospel and are interspersed with interludes, explanatory intro’s and life lessons. The furious funk of “Butters in the Skillet” (from the ‘Soul Suga’ album from 2015) is preceded by “Is It What It Is”, in which Wes Funderburk performs solo with a trombone. Durrett then becomes poetic and makes a sermon on self-preservation in the glorious hymn “Wish It Would Rain”, in which she urges us all to keep faith in desperate times. She continues her message in the swinging “Love Has a Right to Be Wrong”, a song that she wrote with William Bell and which is cleverly opened on organ by Yoel B’nai Yehuda. Hereafter she tells in a heartwarming story (about her dog) how she found her inspiration for the beautiful ballad “Be Somebody Angel”. Her mother and grandmother inspired her for the writing of “All Is Well”, in which Yehuda again demonstrates extensively on organ. In the sultry ballad “In Between Times” we then become acquainted with the power and emotional depth of Durrett’s dark alto. After a percussion solo by Melissa Juneburg, the story of a wild blues singer follows in “Sassy Larue”. Larue was a lively blues lady, who appeared in Auburn Avenue in 1954 at the Royal Peacock club (where Gladys Knight & “the Pips” were once on stage). Funderburk deserves praise here. In Cole Porter’s standard “Summertime” Durrett then goes deep to add her unique flair and emotions to the lyrics of the most recorded song of all time. Very funky everyone will be on stage during “Do not That Bring You Back” and, it will be feasting even more when Durrett makes the final bet with “Woohoo”, which undoubtedly got everyone right that night. Just thank the band for a while and light up! … “Diane Durrett & Soul Suga made at Eddie’s Attic, full of emotions, stories and surprises. We can enjoy afterwards with the recordings and hope that we can be there someday … “- www.rootstime.be Rootstime Link