Sometimes an artist comes along to jar the most jaded of music lovers. Such is the case with Gina DeLuca. Times like these make my gig easy….My pen has a direct connection shooting up my arm to the bluesheart center of my brain and my words spew forth. No great revelations or innovations here. All the various elements are just were they should be in just the right amount. Her stunning natural blue-eyed smoky soul voice is out front. She isn’t a blues shouter thank God. No oversinging here, she emotes or holds back when needed. The production by Dave Nachodsky and Gina herself is spare allowing her vocals to shine. No heavy-handed horn section, gloppy backing vocals or strings to muck up the works. Each guitar solo makes sense in the context of the song. On “Dreaming(A Stalker’s Love Song)” only a rollicking barrelhouse piano backs her, giving the listener the experience of hearing a saloon style torch song. The same approach is used on “Blues Gone Grey” to good effect.
Soul blues is the feeling here. Even in the more soul leaning tunes some blues guitar creeps in. Her voice has a mellow toughness to it, at times recalling Dusty Springfield. Her rendition of Saffire The Uppity Blues Women’s ode to the night after “Cold Pizza And Warm Beer” is given a harder take than the original thus removing the novelty aspect. The yearning in her voice on her original “When You Were Mine” will melt you in your tracks. Ten of the thirteen tracks here are penned by Gina showing she’s not just an interpreter of somebody else’s vision. Her finest creations for me are on two successive belters “I’m Ok” and “The New Me”. Kajun Kelly’s crunchy guitar propels the saucy “The Good Life Of A Bad Girl”. “Days Of Soul” is a paen and list of the music that is the prevalent flavor throughout this disc. Upon hearing her reading of Roddy Barnes’ “Go Where The Bad People Go” it makes a guy want to follow her into hell. Which wouldn’t be such a bad deal because the lady happens to be quite a looker to boot.
If she stays on track and continues writing songs to suit her sultry vocals and dosen’t allow some hot-shot blues label and/or producer to veer her into a course of sappy, overblown porportions we should hear much more of her in a big way..
Reviewer Greg ‘Bluesdog’ Szalony is from the New Jersey Delta. He is the proprietor of Bluesdog’s Doghouse at http://bluesdog61.multiply.com/.