Armed with a bottleneck slide, blues harmonica, and her signature gut-wrenching vocals, Moanin' Michelle Malone is having so much fun these days that she can’t help but shake her sugarfoot.
Malone was born in the dirty south and grew up listening to her mother sing in the church choir every Sunday. When it came time to craft her own sound, she took those religious roots, blended in enough rock and soul to keep the devil satisfied, and came up with her 9th studio CD, Sugarfoot. It's a high-spirited stripped down blend of rootsy acoustic slide, gritty electric blues and explosive vocals - rock with just enough blues edge to get the medicine down. Sugarfoot sounds like the lost recordings of Bonnie Raitt and the Rolling Stones meeting up in Susan Tedeschi's garage for a late night jam session. And as is usually the case with Malone, the disc is an experience best enjoyed at high volume.
""I wanted to make a fun record, one that could help me escape the doldrums of adult reality - like bills and breakups and other necessary evils,"" she says laughing. ""Instead of diving into the deep end of the river, I decided just to romp around in the creek for a while... splashing around in the shallow end, you know, so I wouldn't spill my cocktail.""
Songs such as ""Tighten up the Springs,"" ""Rooster 44,"" and ""Traveling and Unraveling"" highlight Malone's devil may care attitude and her slide guitar, which is becoming more and more of a signature for her. ""I'm having a good time with it,"" she says. ""Since I picked up the slide, I feel freer, I'm having more fun."" Malone plays all the guitar, blues harp, and mandolin on the new disc.
But while the Sugarfoot may be loose, it’s not hollow. She painfully sings on the soulful ""Where Is The Love"": ""Love is like a stray rebellious bird / Call it and you'll never hear a word / It's not the feather flutter sound / It's just the wind swirling around.""
In keeping with her rough and tumble attitude, Malone averages over 200 days a year on the road, sharing stages and tours with artists from ZZ Top to Joan Jett, the Indigo Girls and Johnny Winter. Though her previous releases have earned her critical acclaim on many ""Best Of"" lists, she is known for her live set, where she can make the biggest venues seem as cozy as a camp fire, and an intimate venue feel like the center of the universe. Sugarfoot comes as close to capturing her raw spontaneity and grand, dirty, low-down power as anything to date.
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10/23/2010 8:42:35 PM
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