My heart sank when I looked at the track listing for Demetria Taylor’s debut, Bad Girl: it’s hard to think of a tougher song to kick off your set than “I’m a Woman,” arguably the finest moment in Koko Taylor’s extensive catalog of gravel-throated glory. It doesn’t stop there, either. She segues into “Hoochie Coochie Woman” and hits other tunes Koko helped to make famous—“Voodoo Woman”, “Big Boss Man”—before closing the proceedings with Koko’s signature tune, the Willie Dixon-penned “Wang Dang Doodle”.
In between, Demetria touches on an array of classics such as “Goin’ Back to Mississippi”, “Trying to Make a Living” and “Little Red Rooster”. She sings the heck out of most of them, but inevitably suffers in comparison to singers who sang the hell out of them. Despite this, the record is well worth a listen for fans of gritty, raw blues. With Roosevelt Purifoy on keyboards and Eddie Taylor Jr. on guitar, the band is tight and clearly having a ball, and Demetria Taylor’s got a powerful voice that will only get stronger as it weathers.