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Matriarch of the Blues

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Matriarch of the Blues

Current Status:
In Season
Etta James

We gave it a B

Matriarch of the Blues (Private Music) After recent forays into country and standards, James wants to reclaim her title as the mother of the blues. And who’s going to stop her? This set features mostly covers, including a hoodoo-lite version of the Stones’ ”Miss You” and a ”Born on the Bayou” that nicks from James Brown as much as Creedence. Her voice isn’t quite the nasty snarl it once was, but the attitude remains: The record’s best track is a saucy, understated ”Hound Dog” that gives the old mutt new bite.