“Born a Sinner” Review by Rootstime in Belgium — 2018

 In Album Reviews

“When a sinner sings the blues …”

Singer Judy Magnini (aka Judy Sings the Blues) is the front lady of a blues band from Lewes, Delaware on the American East Coast, including Eric Zoeckler (guitar), James Sudimak (drums) & Carl Thompson (bass). ‘Born a Sinner’ is the title of their debut album with eight original songs and two covers, which they released in this year.

The album opens with “My Name Is not Baby”. The things that immediately stand out are the much-saying title and the excellent, powerful voice of Judy. On the funky track, Eric Zoeckler’s guitar and the tight groove of the rhythm section, as well as the sassy saxopuites of one of the special guests Cody Leavel. “Until That Sucker’s Dead” is cut from the same knotty funk wood. Again in the song that is cut, that needs a song with another well-liked title. After this it is time for the first cover “Fever”. After the beautiful introduction, Judy puts in neatly measured and she honors this Eddy Cooley / Otis Blackwell classic. The song was originally recorded for the first time in 1956 by the R & B singer “Little” Willie John on his debut album ‘Fever’. That not only Willie John, but later also Elvis Presley, Christina Aguilera, Madonna (‘Erotica’ [1992]), The McCoys, La Lupe, Beyoncé have already scored, should have been a stimulus for Judy, for the beautiful number now. The second cover is the valve “Sinner’s Prayer” from Lloyd C. Glenn & Lowell Fulson. This dragging blues rock song from 1950, also covered by Ray Charles, stands for the “other” Judy, who does not want to be the praying saint here, but a rocking lady who clearly knows what she wants. In the other originals Judy chooses sturdy rockers like “I Like the Way” and “Dirty Girl”, but also for quiet intermezzos such as the title song, “Tricks” and the funky “Help Me”. Let me finish with “He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not”. This seems like we have to wait until the end, to know what might happen next.

Judy Magnini amazes me positively with her first release ‘Born a Sinner’. With her voice, her songwriting and her contemporary approach to the blues, she scores on several levels. We look forward to more!

“With her first release ‘Born a Sinner’ Judy Magnini amazes me positively. With her voice, her songwriting and her approach to the contemporary blues, she scores on several levels. We do look forward to more! … “ Visit Rootstime!

—Eric Schuurmans

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