Review: Soul Suga & Diane Durrett – Self-Titled

Posted on: Wednesday, Oct 21, 2015


Soul Suga & Diane Durrett – Self-Titled

(Blooming Tunes Music)

Diane is a native of Atlanta, Georgia and can trace her musical stirrings from the heady days of attending the services of the Ponce De Leon Baptist Church on Peachtree Street with her mother, who was also musical director there for the choir and as Diane has stated; “We played very progressive music in the seventies, and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra would play for our Christmas pageants.”

From this highly satisfying musical background Diane went on to study journalism and commercial music, focusing upon piano and guitar at the Mercer and Georgia State University. Diane has lived in Atlanta all her life, apart from spending five years in Nashville pursuing a songwriting career where, in her day job as a chauffeur she gathered more than enough material for her 2009 book ‘Driving Music City’, where she reminiscences upon her time spent driving various and sometimes interesting people around the city.

She has since 1993 released seven albums which have firmly established her soulful and sassy southern roots. With this new album, her tantalising talents are more than evident. The eleven numbers here are created by Diane and a whole host of musicians who manage, whether by luck or judgement, to conjure up the engaging atmosphere of a live concert that is cross between a seductive and risqué late night club and an intimate, soulful and thoughtful gathering.

The album opens with “Show Up Sexy”, which is a simmering and suggestive low down, hip-swinging groover that has a heat emitting and bubbling funky organ with rich slinky, jazz influenced guitar work underpinning Diane’s sultry and husky breathy vocals that soar and swoop in the best traditions of Tina Turner and Janis Joplin in their prime.

“Butter’s In The Skillet”, ratchets up the funkiness several notches with a strutting and soaring horn section that easily manages to make you hot around the collar. The only cover here is The Beatles “Let it Be”, which is given a solemn and reverential gospel tinge, Diane lets her voice ebb and flow with majestic ease as a haunting solo saxophone intertwines with her commanding and respectful vocals.

The ballad “All is well”, delves deep into the hurting and heartbreaking emotions felt at the loss of a dearly loved relative, Diane’s subtle and aching interpretation ensures that it is indeed a tender, poignant and caring number. “Woohoo”, returns us to the raunchy world of desire, delight and pet names, a rolling, music-hall piano and organ shuffle along while, the guitar smoothly and gently slides in to caress and stroke your senses.



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