Written by Melanie Young
For over 30 years Paula Rangell has been a fixture on the New Orleans music scene. The singer, songwriter harmonica player and saxophonist's latest release -- her first since 2008's Louisiana Bride -- serves as a survey of her four decades in music. Seventeen gathers that number of previously released originals together from her studio albums Cadillac Love (1994) and 30 by 90 (1997) and Bride.
A strong brew of blues R&B and rock-n-roll. Rangell's music has a tightness and tenacity tempered by the sweet warmth of her salted honey voice. On tracks like All These Blues and Quiet Country Night, her sobbing saxophone and conversational harmonica respond to the call and mood of her lyrics.The smooth, infectious stride rhythms ready-made for dancing on Cadillac Love and Where Care Forgot capture the Pontiacs at their best.
New Orleans and Louisiana musicians such as guitarist John Mooney, drummers Jeffery "Jelly Bean" Alexander, Johnny Vidacovich and pianists Tom Worrell and Nelson Blanchard all take turns backing Rangell. Most notably the late Earl King sits in on The Man in My Dreams, and 30 by 90, his precision soloing a distinctive delight.
A solid collection of songs from a deeply soulful musician. Seventeen shines a welcome new spotlight on Paula Rangell.