It’s no secret by now that Janiva Magness is one of the top soul-blues singers in the land — her live shows are incredible exercises in musical passion personified; her CDs elegant testimony to vocal strengths that cut across genres and through hearts.
From the funky, soulful, Stax-like opening bars of her original “There It Is” on her latest CD, “”Stronger For It” (Alligator Records), you can tell that it’s also no secret that she just keeps getting better.
The next track, “I Won’t Cry,” is another original (she’s got a good thing going here). It shifts in tone to mine a deeper, darker vein of heartbreak with the stark refrain: “I get cut and I might bleed, but I won’t cry … the bigger the love, the blacker the bruise …”
“Whistling in the Dark” is her other original (all three written with producer/guitarist Dave Darling), and it’s another wrenchingly soulful exercise in the pain of lost love. These three songs feel like the emotional core of the album, each with strong, sensual guitar from Darling behind an exceptional set of vocals.Read More