Strong debut by blueswoman Wilde
Reviewed March 2010
Heal My Blues
By Dani Wilde
Ruf Records: 2009
To hear sound clips or learn more about this release, Turbula recommends viewing its Amazon.com entry.
Female electric guitarists/blues singers have been a rarity. Dani Wilde hails from England, a young musician who has appeared on the Blues Caravan Tour with Candye Kane and other artists in Europe and the U.S., and "Heal My Blues" is her debut.
Wilde's website, and a first listen to her voice, tip off that she has been heavily influenced by U.S. blueswoman Susan Tedeschi. Her vocals and guitar are mostly early Susan T. clones, and that is not a bad thing. The raw emotion comes through in her singing on the tunes; the toned-down hints of Janis Joplin are there as well, just as with Tesdeschi.
Most of the tracks are written by Wilde as well, and she shows a good grasp of the blues form.
While she handles the guitar work on the disc, it is kept short and simple for the most part with her brother Will's harp taking most of the load.
The opener establishes the pattern: "Bring Your Loving Home to Me" is a boogie with Wilde laying down a forceful vocal, brother Will parrying with some harp fills, and ending with Wilde picking a few bars of clean electric lead guitar. After some more up-tempo numbers, "I Love You More Than I Hate Myself" has Wilde slowing things down a bit for a heavier sound with some convincing dirty guitar riffs, and dramatic blues shouting that recalls Joplin.
The other fare here are mostly workmanlike blues-rock vehicles for Wilde's vocals to tear through, though "Testify" has a nice, pounding guitar riff that stays in the head. John Lee Hooker's "In The Mood" is done with well-played acoustic blues guitar by Wilde and has one of the best vocals on the disc as well. The rocker "Little by Little" also stands out, the best of the up-tempo cuts.
"Heal My Blues" gives Dani Wilde an opportunity to show blues fans her considerable skills as a blueswoman. She can sing, she can write, and she can play. It isn't quite yet her own unique sound, but it is well-executed and interesting.
Review by Frank Kocher, a longtime San Diego resident, musician, music collector and frequent contributor to The San Diego Troubadour.