Review: Eden Brent – Ain’t Got No Troubles

Posted on: Tuesday, Feb 15, 2011

EDEN BRENT
“Ain’t Got No Troubles”
(Yellow Dog Records – YDR 1716)

For her latest release on the Memphis-based Yellow Dog Records, the Greenville, Mississippi-raised and based pianist, writer and singer, Eden Brent, headed south to the Crescent City of New Orleans, and has lent her tough vocals and rolling keyboard work to a great album, on which she has penned eight of the album’s 12 cuts – produced by Colin Linden, and on board is the legendary George Porter Jr. on bass to add even more authenticity to the sound – the recordings taking place at the famous Piety Street Studios.

Producer Linden handles all guitar duties here, with the band rounded out with Bryan Owings on drums and a horn section of Tracy Griffin (trumpet), Emile Hall (alto saxophone) and Jeff Albert (trombone)  – with a cameo from the great Jon Cleary on Hammond B3. Critics have described Eden Brent as “Bessie Smith meets Diana Krall meets Janis Joplin”, and while a touch of these formidable ladies may be in her music, she certainly is rapidly forging her own identity.

Proceedings get off to a lively start on the rousing “Someone To Love”, with plenty of New Orleans-flavoured piano and suitably gritty vocal; the following title cut, “Ain’t Got No Troubles” has a slight jazzy feel, punctuated by Colin Linden’s slide work – an excellent pairing of songs and both self-penned by Eden Brent. Her “Blues All Over” takes the pace down – with more sparkling piano and smoky ‘after hours’ vocal.

Colin Linden’s “Later Than You Think” has a ragtime flavour, courtesy of his guitar work, which has a tough edge on the Hambridge / McClinton / Nicholson rocker “Right To Be Wrong”. The gorgeous “Leave Me Alone” is a stand-out here, with a quite stunning vocal on this Memphis soul-flavoured song – her aching vocal complemented by guest Jon Cleary’s organ chords, some thick-toned slide guitar and the horn section.

The pace is taken right up on the rocking, self-explanatory “Let’s Boogie-Woogie”, with some intense fiery piano that recalls the legendary Jerry Lee Lewis tearing it up . . . . the track being another of Eden Brent’s own compositions, and is driven by the tight rhythm section of George Porter Jr. and Bryan Owings, with Colin Linden taking a great solo. The downright saucy “My Man” has a vaudeville swing to it, with double entendres galore, but great fun!

Other highlights are the soulful balladry of “Beyond My Broken Dreams”, and more ragtime on “If I Can’t”, with Colin Linden’s superb fingerpicked acoustic guitar. The jumping “I’m In Love With Your Wallet” rides on a solid New Orleans groove, with rolling piano and a wry set of lyrics. The closing “Goodnight Moon”, penned by Will Kimbrough and Gwil Owen, is truly lovely . . . a lovely country ballad which perfectly highlights Eden Brent’s voice and piano, and a fitting end to a highly recommended release.

GRAHAME RHODES

www.edenbrent.com

www.yellowdogrecords.com

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