There are no better words than Lisa Biales' own to capture just how wonderfully jubilant is Singing In My Soul , the eighth independent release from the Ohio-based singer and guitarist ...
"I love working with musicians who give themselves over completely to a song, and who play with joy. Here's to you, my Jolly Goodfellows," says Biales in the liner notes.
They're the words of a warm and generous spirit, qualities that emanate from every note of the Singing In My Soul.
The Goodfellows that Biales refers to include Cincinnati's Ricky Nye on keys, along with the Paris Blues Band -Bassist Thibault Chopin and drummer Simon 'Shuffle' Boyer, both from indeed Paris, and guitarist Anthony Stelmaszack, who hails from Bordeaux. They're pretty much perfect here, swinging easily and effortlessly throughout, unobtrusive but providing a lithe and lively pulse that's utterly irresistible.
Yet despite the international cast, the playlist is pure Americana, from the loopy "A Little Bird Told Me" (seldom heard these days, though at one time a number-one hit record for Blu Lu Barker) to a pair, including the title track, from Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Also among the ten tracks on offer are tunes from Mississippi John Hurt (the surprisingly upbeat "Let The Mermaids Flirt With Me"), Sippie Wallace (a sassy and saucy "You Got To Know How"), W.C. Handy ("Careless Love") and a languid take on Al Dubin's "I Only Have Eyes For You." Biales wrote just one, the period-perfect "Magic Garden," a sunny and slightly surreal slice of undying optimism. Songs made famous by Peggy Lee ("Waiting For The Train To Come In") and Patsy Cline ("Write Me In Care Of The Blues") complete the set.
What's truly remarkable about Singing In My Soul, though, is Biales' voice, an instrument of astonishing clarity and power. She's been a performing musician since her teens, and her background includes a stint in a theatrical production based on Cline's life. It's a marvel, with a crystalline clarity that gives her delivery an unforced yet undeniable command, yet retains an engaging and unaffected warmth, a sweetness at the heart. Every song she sings seems to wear a smile, and it's delightfully infectious - it's hard to imagine anyone not feeling a little better, a little happier, after listening to Singing In My Soul.
This is genuinely wonderful stuff, very highly recommended!