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29 March 2004

Various Artists, Wild About That Thang: Ladies Sing the Blues (Delmark)
This is far more a promotional sampler for Delmark than it is a useful review of women in the blues. The tracking seems fairly random -- no chronological order or stylistic sub-grouping -- but that's not the main complaint. Delmark has put together a collection, that, if you didn't know the label's history, would lead you to believe that they waited until relatively late in the game to start devoting much attention to the blues. More than half of the tracks here come from the '90s or after, and though it's more a personal prejudice than an accepted judgment, I'm not interested in this crop of pristinely recorded, by-the-numbers blues. As for the older tracks, most are nice enough (particularly Edith Wilson's interestingly arranged "He May Be Your Man", and of course the Dinah Washington track with Mingus), but Blu Lu Barker's "Don't You Feel My Leg" seems to be included for the sake of cachet rather than because of the quality of this particular performance. If you're a dedicated blues fan, and you can find this for a good price (say, $8.00), it might be good for two or three spins.
      — David Morris

.: posted by Editor 5:37 PM