I'm Still Here
Some blues singers and their records often feel like old friends to me.
Bettye Lavette is one that comes to mind and I can honestly say that
when I opened the new record by Trudy Lynn, I’m Still Here,
that she feels like another. I’m Still Here is a brilliant record
that finds Trudy backed by the Calvin Owens Blues Orchestra. Recordings
like this aren’t made anymore…a wonderful singer… backed by an
orchestra? If you can’t find this record at your local record store then
get ahold of Sawdust Alley Records in Houston and have them Fed-Ex it to
you --- it’s that good!
Opening with “Swing Boogie,” Trudy let’s us know that she’s hasn’t lost
a step. Composed by lyricist Rue Davis, “Swing Boogie” highlights
everything that is great about an orchestra behind you. The musicians in
the Calvin Owens Blues Orchestra are tight, feature impeccable phrasing
and having the master himself, Calvin Owens, leading the way on trumpet
is a match made in heaven. Trudy’s first original song on the record,
“Blues Singing Woman,” let’s us know that she’s staying true to her
roots. And “some good ole blues…good ole blues and everything is
“I’m Still Here” pays tribute to some of the wonderful friends in
Trudy’s life who have gone on before her…..Little Milton…Tyrone
Davis….Johnny Copeland….Albert Collins…and lets us know that Trudy’s
faith in God has always been the rock that inspires her to persevere.
Trudy is indeed "Still Here.” Her vocal performance is soulful, painful,
reflective and thankful for all of the blessings she’s received over the
course of her lifetime and supports a truly wonderful song.
Nelson Mills takes over the microphone to tell us, “Hands off My Woman!”
She’s his….don’t go near her…just let her be….”she’s my property!” Trudy
comes back on “Blues Party” and she’s in the mood to just have fun. What
could be better than dancing to the music of B.B. King and Koko Taylor
while letting your hair down? Rue Davis authored both songs as well as
several others on this record and his reputation as a brilliant lyricist
is well deserved.
“Since I Found You” simply tugs at the heart strings. The whole world
changes when you find the faith you’ve always searched for. Trudy’s
vocal shines as she expresses her love and appreciation for God’s role
in her life. Moving on to “Saturday Night” we find an instrumental
composed by Calvin that gives the band its due. Calvin has been
nominated for Blues Music Awards for his trumpet playing, and “Saturday
Night” brings him to the forefront while letting the orchestra stretch
“Left Me Singing the Blues” finds Trudy out in the cold after her man
has left her. She knew there had to be another woman...”it just didn’t
feel right anymore” and finally he left. Fool had to be crazy to leave
Trudy!! “Everybody’s got a Blues Song to Sing” finds Trudy in a more
reflective mood. It’s a fact of life that sometimes you win….sometimes
you lose…”everybody’s got a blues song to sing!” Trudy continues to
showcase her songwriting abilities in this song and it’s impressive that
she contributed three songs to the record.
Calvin has the band warmed up again on “Boogie Woogie Gumbo,” the second
instrumental of the record. A number of wonderful guitar players are
part of the orchestra and the solo in this song features the strength of
one of the guitarists, it could even be Guitar Shorty, who made an
appearance on the record. Nelson Mills brings his trumpet to the
forefront next with his composition, “Starry Eyes.” Collectively the
instrumental compositions on I’m Still Here prove that having a
full orchestra at your beck and call is a wonderful luxury to have.
Calvin Owens leads a brilliant group of musicians in support of Trudy
Lynn and their contribution to a brilliant record can’t be understated.
“You’re the Only One” lets us know that Trudy is a one man woman. As
long as she’s treated right she will always be by your side and she’s a
good woman who truly appreciates the love of her good man. “Welcome Home
Baby” lets us know that she’s a forgiving woman as well…whatever went
wrong is in the past and “welcome home baby…I need you.”
Closing out the record is another Rue Davis composition, “Payin the
Price.” Now we find that Trudy has made a mistake and her man is just
not treating her right. So even though she’s “payin the price” for
loving this man….he’s got to go. I have no doubt that Trudy will
I’m Still Here harkens back to the day when the economics of
performing weren’t as difficult as they are now. This easily is a record
that should be on everyone’s top ten list at the end of the year and is
worthy of nomination as one of the top soul blues records of 2006.
Rarely will any of us ever get the pleasure of seeing live the
performance that Trudy gives us on this record with the support of the
wonderful musicians of the Calvin Owens Blues Orchestra behind her. We
are blessed that hearing it is the next best thing!
--- Kyle Deibler
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Revised: April 30, 2006 - Version 1.00
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