LIFE, LOVE & THE BLUES was nominated for a 1999 Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album.
Etta James' fine self-produced LIFE, LOVE & THE BLUES touts itself as a straight blues album, the one Etta says she always wanted to record. This ... isn't entirely accurate, since the smart choice of tunes here includes Al Green's "Here I Am (Come And Take Me)" and Marvin Gaye's "Inner City Blues." But why quibble with a legend, especially since she delivers the goods with such class and professionalism?
By 1998, her voice had lost some of its upper purity but hardly any of its flexibility and force. She's not riding any past glory as she steps forthrightly into Albert King's "Born Under A Bad Sign" like she owns it, as well as modern blues classics like Willie Dixon's "Spoonful" and "Hoochie Coochie Man (Gal)".
Speaking of ownership, Etta co-wrote the title song - a smoldering statement of purpose cut with some fine slide acoustic work courtesy of her ace back-up guys, The Roots Band.
Recorded at Fort Athens Studio, Riverside, California. Includes liner notes by Bob Merlis & Etta James.
Personnel: Etta James (vocals); Josh Sklair (guitar, dobro); Leo Nocentelli, Bobby Murray (guitar); Jimmy "Z" (saxophone, harmonica); Lee Thornburg (trumpet, trombone); Tom Poole (trumpet); Dave Mathews (keyboards); Mike Finnigan (Hammond B-3 organ); Sametto James (bass); Donto James (drums, percussion).
1. Born Under a Bad Sign
2. I Want to Ta Ta You, Baby
3. Here I Am (Come & Take Me)
4. Running Out of Lies
5. Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)
7. Life, Love & The Blues
8. Hoochie Coochie Gal
9. Cheating in the Next Room
10. If You Want Me to Stay
11. Love You Save May Be Your Own, The
12. I'll Take Care of You
Although this is Not My Rip, I did verify it's accuracy - 100%, track by track, Confidence=4 - according to the AccurateRip database, using TripleFlac(alpha 05), before posting here.