Blues Bytes


October/November 2010

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Kirsten Thien
Screen Door Records

Kirsten Thien

Delicious (Screen Door Records) is the third CD from the talented Kirsten Thien; her debut one came out in 2003. So she doesn’t just record CDs for the sake of it, she picks and chooses the moment when she has the best selection of music available. That moment would appear to be now, with the release of “Delicious,” an album of 13 tracks of which eight are written (or co-written) by Kirsten herself. The exceptions are a Willie Dixon track “I Ain’t Superstitious,” which I remember Howling Wolf performing to good effect, “Taxi Love” written by Charlie Feldman and Jon Tiven, the Ida Cox number “Wild Women Don’t Have The Blues” – there are two versions each of “Taxi Love” and “Treat ‘im Like A Man.”

The great Hubert Sumlin guests on two tracks, “Love That’s Made To Share” and “Please Drive,” playing some truly excellent guitar, and proving that he hasn’t lost the touch since his days with the late Howling Wolf.

The CD opens with “Love That’s Made To Share,” which starts like a funky soul track, courtesy of a horn section, and then changes to funky blues and rocking country, Bonnie Raitt style. Track two, “Nobody’s Ever Loved Me Like You Do,” has the horns again and keeps the tempo going until track three comes along – this is the one where Hubert Sumlin comes into his own and the horn section is dropped – this track really does it for me, pure blues and no mistake. This track is sultry, sexy and bluesy all rolled into one and without a doubt, it’s one of the best tracks on the CD – I’d love to see this woman make a whole CD of stuff like this!

The horns come back with “Taxi Love,” an up-tempo driving blues, and the horns are dropped for the title track “Delicious,” a track that Thien co-wrote with Noel Cohen, who shows up playing acoustic guitar, to complement the excellent electric guitar of Arthur Nielson – this track is a real rocker, and it’s got something about it that I just had to keep going back to it.

The horns are back for “Ain’t That The Truth,” a lovely ballad, and a rocking funky “Treat ‘im Like A Man” before things get stripped to the bone for the Ida Cox song “Wild Women Don’t Have The Blues” – and stripped to the bone means just vocal and guitar from Kirsten Thien and harmonica courtesy of Billy Gibson – things don’t get much simpler than that in the blues, and it works a treat. For me, this track runs very, very close behind “Please Drive,” and it’s followed by the Willie Dixon song “I Ain’t Superstitious,” this time drums and two guitars plus vocals – and this is the best track on the CD! I had a tremendous struggle picking this one out from “Please Drive” and “Wild Women,” but it just shines through for me.

“A Woman Knows” comes next, another track that puts me in mind of Bonnie Raitt (and I’m a confirmed Bonnie Raitt fan!) and then pure funk with “Get Outta The Funk, Get Into The Groove.” The final two tracks are radio edits of “Treat ‘im Like A Man" and “Taxi Love.”

This is an accomplished album by a very talented artist and it deserves a listen!

--- Terry Clear


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