Old, New, Borrowed and Blues

The '90s saw the emergence and acceptance of a whole new breed of guitar players in the blues world, namely females. Deborah Coleman, Sue Foley, Debbie Davis, Susan Tedeschi are the names that come to mind with most folk, but there is a new kid on the block whose name belongs ranked among those just mentioned. Some of you reading this may know her from her appearances on the Southern California blues club circuit. The lady`s name is Kimberly Allison and she has released one whale of and album entitled Old, New, Borrowed and Blues that will knock you out upon first listen. Man is this good! Kimberly offers and even mix of five instrumental originals and five covers on the well paced, brilliantly self produced album that is thoroughly eclectic. To compare Kimberly`s clean, non-gadget style to anyone else would be an injustice to this vibrantly talented guitar player as she possesses her own significant signature. If forced to make a comparison the best analogy would be to take the grit of Albert Collins add the melodic jazziness of let`s say Kenny Burrell or Joe Pass and you have Kimberly Allison. The albums`s opening piece "Grill Your Own"starts things off with a jazzy shuffle that quickly establishes this lady`s unique melodic picking style very quickly. A regular of the Los Angeles blues scene for the past forty or so years "Mister Blues" Leshun lends his very special vocal and keyboard talents to the slow blues of "Open House At My House" and Jimmy McCracklin`s "Got To Know" in addition to the bopping beat of "Next Time You See Me." While the covers chosen for this fine album are quite good, it`s Kimberly`s originals that really allow her to strut he stuff as both player and composer equally. "Turn Up The AC" finds Allison laying down some piercing lick over a stuttering funky soul beat provided by Phil Norris on trumpet and Jennifer Hall an sax. "Four Down Jump" is a jumping piece of blues featuring some tasty harp licks courtesy of James Murphy, while "Portland Boogie" evokes a bit of the swing era with it`s bouncy arrangements "I35 South" has a bit of a Texas grind to it to close thing out nicely. Rounding out the rest of the band is Ron Battle on electric bass with Gerry Easley sitting in on upright for three numbers and Mike Lopez on drums. "Old New, Borrowed And Blues," is a well executed completely enjoyable album that contains a continuous flow and feel throughout it`s ten tunes that leave you with the feeling that bigger and better things are yet to come from this very talented lady, If you can`t find this splendid album in your local record store it can be ordered directly from Ms. Allison`s website: Major labels take note this lady can play her butt off!
---Steve Hinrichsen