Vizztone Label Group
Annika Chambers and Paul DesLauriers have both been on my radar a while. I covered Chambers’ 2019 album Kiss My Sass, and DesLauriers’ 2016 release Relentless, as well as his 2019 release Bounce. I embraced all three of those recordings. The spirited couple met at the 2018 International Blues Challenge in Memphis and started working together in 2019. Within the same year, they fell in love and got married. Good Trouble is their first full album together, and it’s absolutely fabulous. Annika’s voice sounds divine as she takes on lead vocals. Paul’s talent shines bright and runs immensely deep as he performs on an array of instruments. He plays guitar, dobro, cigar box guitar, bass, and mandolin. Additional musicians on the album include JP Soars on guitar, Chris Peet on drums and percussion, Gary Davenport on bass guitar, Alec McElcheran on bass guitar, Bernard “Bingo” Deslauriers on drums, Barry Seelen on Hammond B-3 organ, and Kim Richardson on background vocals.
A charged blast of southern soul rips the album wide open on “You’ve Got to Believe”. Paul throws down a fiery guitar performance and a delightful accompaniment on mandolin. Annika’s vocals are fearless and commandeering as she belts this amazing song out. They create a riveting and soulful recreation of George Harrison’s “Isn’t it a Pity” from his All Things Must Pass album. It’s quite different from the original, but it’s quite amazing. They also do a spectacular job covering the Joe South 1970 hit “Walk a Mile in My Shoes” which peaked at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The warm bluesy tones of Paul’s guitar gently walk the listener into “Need Your Love So Bad”, the duet he sings with Annika. This is indeed the blues. My biggest surprise was hearing their take on Mountain’s legendary blues-rock anthem “Mississippi Queen”. They absolutely shine as they keep this cover tightly close to the original. I would have loved to witness this recording in the studio. Good Trouble wraps up with a nearly ten-minute sacred-soul jam of “I Need More Power”. This music for the spirit effortlessly takes me into a hypnotic trance and I love every bit of it.
Good Trouble is a brilliant album loaded with musical perfection. I highly encourage everyone to give it a listen.
By Phillip Smith
Original source: phillycheezeblues.blogspot.com