Ruby Dee and the Snakehandlers
Little Black Heart
(Catty Town Records)
Ruby Dee's larger-than-life personality is all over this high-stepping, honky tonk frolic. True, that observation can be accurately offered about all of her works -- rousing, light-spirited, and smokily in-the-groove as they always are. And it advantages her immeasurably that ace players have her back. Indeed, their robust zeal alone demands full-throated salute.
But this latest success is particularly sweet. For in 2008, Ruby Dee suffered debilitating injuries that left her long struggling to recapture artistic capacities. This comeback represents admirable triumph over tragedy.
"Now, I have to work harder to put a song together," she reveals in liner notes. "But then again, I feel like I'm putting so much more of myself into the songs, now, And I honestly think these are some of the best I've ever written."
Recommended "Can You Spare a Match?" "Mean Mean Woman, "Little Black Heart," "Pretty Little Kitty," "Who Do You Think I Am?" "You Underwhelm Me," "All Knocked Up," "Not For Long"
Video CD teaser