Janiva Magness built her reputation on the blues scene with her incomparable, earthy, powerful vocals. That’s earned Magness 26 Blues Music Award nominations, where she has won on numerous occasions, including the prestigious Entertainer of the Year award. But like Koko Taylor, Magness is a soul singer at heart, and while she’s kept the bluesy elements in her music, she’s also forging forward and expanding her sound towards the Americana scene and a more direct form of soul music.
Magness’ latest album,
Love Is an Army, is out 23 February via Blue Élan Records and it aims to meld the sounds of Memphis and Nashville together all the while acting as a protest record that pleas for love and understanding. Also, Magness reunited with producer Dave Darling to write and record the new album, and the combo of these two talents is a potent one, which is good because they take on the major issues of the day on Love Is an Army. “Dave Darling and I had a real sense of urgency when we were writing and recording this album. What led the album was the lyrics, and the things that are happening right now — the division, the racism, the violence, and our leaders’ lack of concern about basic human issues like health care and poverty,” Magness says.
On “Home”, Magness pairs up with Cedric Burnside for a bluesy, soul stomper that absolutely smokes with energy. “The battle cry… Stand up. Speak up. Be empowered by love. Be heard. Home. Wherever that is for you. ‘There will never be another time in history that we could shine so bright.’ Cedric Burnside nails the strength and anger of this tune with his raw vocal and unhinged psychedelic guitar,” says Magness.