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Silvano Brambilla "Il Blues" n. 94 march 2006
Now Is The Time

Do you remember Olga, don't you? This magazine dedicated her an article on issue n. 89, and it was not long ago since (last october) since she was in Italy in a kind of honeymoon with now husband Jimbo Mathus, with whom she played in Pavia and Milano. We went back on her with an interview and this review of her third CD. If you are wondering why we keep again our attention on her work , the answer lies in the fact that Olga may represent a sort of "new move" on the blues chessboard, especially the Southern one from where we have already got many reviving signs. Though not a blueswoman in the full sense of the term, the former New Orleans and now Memphis resident has enriched her singer-songwriter idiom with an interesting blend of folk, blues, country and a touch of of southern rock. The latter is exactly the situation that opens the CD the title-track is well built around Olga 's singing and herself (on slide) and Jimbo with an electric one, supported by Paul "Schneeflock" Taylor on both drums and bass. The same approach is used for the midtempo ballad "Your Love Don't Work Like Mine" while "Weary" is marked by rock/blues accents. Besides singing Olga plays violin, acoustic guitar and piano ; then Jimbo's mandolin and a kind of rural rhythmic section takes us toward country music with the slow ballad "Ain't It A Shame". From one tradition to another, blues this time, we find "What's The Matter With The Mill" originally by Memhis Minnie whom Olga has dedicated this work. Then the amplifiers turns up again for "I Won't Ask" another solid rock/blues; if in "Can You Forgive Me" shades of country prevail, in "Fool" peeps out a certain pop flavour. We want to point out again "Stealin'" with his jug band athmospheres, taking the opportunity to praise all the house band musicians of Jimbo's Clarksdale Sound Machine, who share a great work and should be given credit for the CD's success. Not to be forgotten are the arrangements, very good, tasteful and fresh throughout, and Olga's vocals which manage to give and add sense to every song. The end comes with "Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad" composed and played by "husband & wife", voices and acoustic guitars. Good News from Clarskdale, Mississippi.

Silvano Brambilla "Il Blues" n. 94 march 2006

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