In Any Town
Dirty Cat Records
The San Francisco based Lucky Losers are singer, songwriter Cathy Lemons and singer, songwriter, harmonica ace Phil Berkowitz.
They are a vocal duo whose influences include Stax styled soul, blues, classic country and New Orleans funk. Their debut album “Winning Hand” was an ambitious album of duets as they vocally feed off of each other. The combination of originals and selected covers made the album one of last year’s favorites.
The band consists of Lemons, vocals; Berkowitz, harp and vocals; Marvin Greene, guitar; Chris Burns, keyboards; Tim Wagar (from The Terry Hanck Band), bass; and Robi Bean, drums. The album is co-produced by Lemons, Berkowitz and Kid Anderson.
Lemons’ has written five songs for this recording. My favorite“Don’t Let ‘Em See Ya Cry” features the horn section of Michael Peloquin, tenor and baritone sax; Mike Rose, trumpet; and Mike Rinta, trombone. Other new originals include the title track “In Any Town”; “I Can’t Change Ya’” featuring Frank Goldwasser (from The Mannish Boys) on guitar; and “Give Me A Sign” featuring both Greene and Jeff Jensen on guitar; and Berkowitz on harp.
Berkowitz has composed four songs with his regular writing partner Danny Caron, the guitarist and former musical director for Charles Brown. “Didn’t I Know We Could Get So High” is punctuated with Berkowitz’ fabulous harmonica. Anderson plays lead guitar while his wife Lisa Anderson sings backup. “Blind Man in the Dark”, another favorite, features the horn section with the addition of Terry Hanck on tenor sax.
There are two covers. On “Jackson” the duo does a tribute to Johnny and June Carter Cash. The duo also harmonizes nicely on “Small Town Talk” written by Bobby Charles and Rick Danko of The Band.
The Lucky Losers prove that a “Winning Hand” wasn’t a fluke as these guys really know how to play their cards. Duet singing is no longer a lost art. “In Any Town” is highly recommended listening.