Betty Fox seems as though she should be a pop princess with her blonde good looks. But do not be fooled. From the first track of Slow Burn, “Think About It,” you know she is full of soul and steeped in blues. This song reminds me of Aretha Franklin and not just because of the similarity in title to Franklin’s “Think.” Fox has the power and conviction to really sell a song, which she also proves later on the album with the other song that reminds me of Franklin, “Baby Please.”
Eleven of these songs are originals, written by Fox and various band members. The other two are great covers. It says a lot that all of the songs are equally strong. Let us look at the covers first.
It takes nerve to take on an Otis Redding number like “Remember Me,” but Fox is up to the challenge, growling the number and wringing the emotion out of it just the way the song requires. The other cover is Willie Nelson’s “Angel Flyin’ Too Close to the Ground,” and it has such sweet, sad soulfulness that you may be reminded of Janis Joplin at her most vulnerable. Certainly Nelson will be pleased with this version of his song.
As for the originals, all of the numbers are strong. “Sweet Memories” has Fox proving she can wail as well as any of the Motown greats, and “Slow Burn” lives up to its title with steadily building intensity. The following number “Solid Ground” has a gospel sound and a positive message to match.
“Please Come Home” and “Who’s Holdin’?” are pure jazz, with Fox doing some impressive scat singing. “Our Love” and “Take a Walk With Me” are upbeat blues. “Let the Light Shine” returns to gospel, but this time it’s testifying blues gospel that will have you wanting to lift your hands in the air and dance. “Goodbye” returns us to contemporary blues and that amazing growling delivery
Whether the style is soul, gospel, blues, or jazz, Fox proves she can manage it and make it all sound fabulous. This is a “Slow Burn” you will want to experience. Add it to your collection today.
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