Saturday, May 9, 2020

#444 : Eliza Neals - Black Crow Moan

2020 – E-H Records

By Phillip Smith; May 9, 2020

I got hooked on the music of Eliza Neals when I reviewed 10,000 Feet Below in 2017.  Last summer, I was gob smacked by her album Sweet or Mean, and had the pleasure of seeing her perform at the Prairie Dog Blues Festival in Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin.  It was great to hear her stellar vocals belting out song after song, backed by her high energy band.

On Black Crow Moan her latest release, Neals draws me in from the get-go on “Don’t Judge the Blues”.  The slide guitar from Mike Puwal fills it with swampy goodness.   Slathered in hot buttery soul "The Devil Don't Love You", features the great Joe Louis Walker.  He keeps it funky on guitar as Neals takes me to church on keys.  Walker also delightfully appears on title track "Black Crow Moan".  The call and response vocals are emotionally-charged as the notes from Walker’s guitar weightlessly drift skyward.  This dark masterpiece, covered in ominous overtones, oozes with authenticity.  “Never Stray” is another amazing song.  It is shrouded in a beautiful intensity and features guitarist Derek St. Holmes (Ted Nugent) bassist Jason Kott, and drummer Jeffrey ‘Shakey’ Fowlkes (Too Slim).  St. Holmes also brings a bowlful of slow-cooked blues and searing guitar to Neal’s cover of Big Mama Thornton's "Ball and Chain".  Eliza sings this with fearless abandon as Shakey builds a wall of thunder on drums.  It’s an absolutely wonderful experience to hear.

When it comes to my list of favorite blues-rockers, Eliza Neals remains among the top. As long as the badassery within her keeps forging great records such as Black Crow Moan, I’ll be there to hear them.  




For more information about the artist, visit this website :

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