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Lauren Mitchell Desire

By Richard Ludmerer
In CD Reviews INDIE Blues
Apr 3rd, 2017

Lauren Mitchell


Lauren Mitchell Music

Lauren Mitchell was born in Columbus Ohio. She began taking voice lessons at the age of nine and developed an interest in musical theatre. Her father had been into soul music and the blues but after her parents divorced he moved to Florida. Mitchell attended college in Columbus but eventually joined her father in Florida.

Mitchell worked in the restaurant business and moonlighted at night in a soul band. After she lost her job she began to perform more frequently and became well known in the Bradenton/Sarasota area. In 2013 Mitchell released her debut album “Please Come Home” featuring her versions of songs from Junior Wells, John Mayall, and Ann Peebles. Mitchell followed up with 2014’s “Live from The Bradfordville Blues Club”.

“Desire” is only Mitchell’s third recording and it features her with a renewed musical focus and a new band. The band includes producer/drummer Tony Braunagel; Reggie McBride, bass; Jimmy Pugh, keyboards; Johnny Lee Schell, guitar; Josh Sklair, guitar; Jose Ramirez, guitar; Joe Sublett, saxophone; Darrell Leonard, trumpet; and Lenny Castro, percussion. The background vocalists include Maxanne Lewis, Kudisan Kai, and Leslie Smith.

Mitchell has co-written four songs with her writing partner Sheri Nadelman. “Soul Music” is inspired by Mitchell’s memory “of her father introducing her to the music he loved”. The horns and background singers help complete this fabulous track but its Mitchell’s vocal phrasing that is really special.

“Brown Liquor” is a party song while “Lead Me On” is about unrequited love. “Desire”  the title track, is a delta blues about maintaining one’s faith and “not letting the hard times get you down”; Steve Fister sits in on slide.

“Today” is a soul ballad about love lost. It was co-written by Greg Sutton, John Herron and Beth Hart. “Bridge of My Dreams” is from her good friend T.C. Carr and it’s a gospel influenced message of hope.

Mitchell calls Etta James her musical idol and she includes two of James songs. “I Don’t Need Nobody (To Tell Me How To Treat My Man)” is from James’ early days with Chess Records and features great performances from Pugh, Schell, Sublett and Leonard. “Jump Into My Fire” first recorded by James in 1988 appears on her album “Seven Year Itch”. Also included are Bettye Lavette’s “Stand Up Like A Man”; Ashford and Simpson’s “I Ain’t Been (Licked Yet)”; and Aretha Franklin’s “Good To Me As I Am To You”. “Anti-Love Song” is from Betty Mabry who married Miles Davis.

For Mitchell the opportunity to record with this band came at a time when both her romantic and professional life was in turmoil. She immersed herself in her music and has emerged triumphant. This album marks a new beginning for this dramatic vocalist.

Richard Ludmerer







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