Review: MaKuini – Blues In My Bones

Posted on: Monday, May 19, 2014

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MaKuini – Blues In My Bones


MaKuini has had a chequered history over the years, singing in venues around the world, from the clip joints in LA to the London Palladium Hailing from New Zealand and the Maori community, she moved to England in the late 1970’s and now lives in the North West. She is beginning to put her amazing vocal stamp on the blues with her new album ‘Blues In My Bones’, with songs as a tribute to the iconic blues singer the late Etta James, but with a definite MaKuini take, in The Etta James Songbook Tour.

She is supported on this special album, ‘Blues In My Bones’, by The Hoo Doo Men who are Pete ‘Sarge’ Frampton on guitars, Paul Burgess on drums, George Glover on keyboards, Wayne Morgan on bass guitar, Steve Parry on sax, trombone and Hammond (‘At Last’) Dave Boraston on trumpet and flugelhorn, Christelle Berthon on harmonica and Melanie Winters on percussion. The album was produced by David Wright.

The first track on the album is a funky up tempo number, ‘Born on the Bayou’ , with a superb rendition by MaKuini and the band and a great opening number. Following this is a slow 12 bar blues, ‘Drivin’ Wheel’ with some ethereal lap slide from Pete.

‘Rock Me Baby’ is a classic 12 bar, with piano, Hammond and brass. MaKuini has this one nailed vocally, on this ‘full on’ track. Some great guitar work from Pete and a solid rhythm section. Then we move onto the iconic track ‘I’d Rather Go Blind’. Having been performed by so many others, Makuini makes it her own, just beautiful and the band supports her perfectly.

‘Don’t Start Me Talking’ is a classic Sonny Boy Williamson, 12 bar blues and gives up to a brilliant performance by MaKuini. Plenty of keyboard input from George and some excellent harmonica. Then moving on to something with a more ‘rocky’ take, ‘I Just Want To Make Love To You’. With great vocals, it is a classic rock performance with a ‘gritty’ feel. Plenty of brass and drivin’ drums from Paul and bass from Wayne and excellent guitar from Pete. Love it!

A rolling earthy blues, leaning towards swing, ‘Hush, Hush’ is a lilting number with some superb harmonica input. We then move to the up tempo classic ‘I Got My Mojo Working’, again with great harmonica from Christelle. A great track.

For the penultimate song on this exceptional album, ‘The Blues Is My Business’ is a great rocky track with funky overtones. The last track on the album is a beautiful rendition of ‘At Last’ and takes you back to the early 60’s with jazz overtones with the input of brass and Hammond organ. MaKuini’s voice is superb and what a great track to finish this superb album.

What a special tribute to the amazing Etta James. MaKuini and the band have taken the songs that Etta made her own to another level. MaKuini’s voice is unique in her own right and with the wonderful musicianship of the band, they have produced superb renditions in the style of those heady days that spanned Etta’s career.

ROSY GREER – Lancashire Blues Archive

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