I recently stumbled across Philadelphia singer Gina Sicilia's first album on CD-Baby and while many of the tracks seemed to channel the fire of classic Aretha Franklin or Tina Turner I wasn't prepared for the full vocal power of "Goin' Home Baby", the song off her second album, Hey Sugar, that greets you on Gina's website. Actually, it not so much greets you as grabs you and drags you onto an over-heated late night dance floor before you've even got a chance to take your coat off or catch your breath... and the next 4 songs are equally as good, each in their own way.
In fact, this 13 song CD easily boasts 6 songs I could (and do) play for blues dancers. It's a testament to this artist's versatility and song writing ability that dance friends have been fairly evenly split on which one's they ask me to play. While "I Pray Most Every Day" is an International Song Writing Competition finalist, I have to admit a particularly naughty fondness for the growling horns and flirty rhythmic twists of "So Attracted to You". Meanwhile, straight Chicago blues fans will appreciate Jack and Jill. Musical guests Dennis Gruenling (harmonica), Jon-Erik Kellso (trumpet) and Gerry Niewood (saxes & clarinet) are an amazing addition to this talented young singer. The unit sounds like they've been together for ages.
Meanwhile, the remaining 7 songs are no throw away either. Packing a countripolitan charm and warmth that conjures up Patsy Kline you find yourself intently listening to the lyrics about a Cherry Tree and trying not to be more touched than you want to admit.
While you're at it, keep your ears open because there's some buzz we may be seeing this gal at an upcoming east coast event or two in the coming months.