Fight the Good Fight
Blue Heart Records
There was a definite magic in the air when Vaneese Thomas recorded Fight the Good Fight at the famed Royal Studios in Memphis, Tennessee, a place once home to Hi Records and the Hi Rhythm Section. The album represents all which I love about Memphis music: the soulful melodies, the funky intoxicating rhythms, the horns, the blues-soaked guitars, and the swampy country detours. It’s no secret, music runs deep in Thomas’ family, often referred to as Memphis’ “First Family of Soul”. Her father being the legendary Rufus Thomas, her sister, the “Memphis Queen” Carla Thomas, and her brother the notable keyboardist Marvell Thomas. Fight the Good Fight features a dozen all-original tracks, and according to Vaneese, “I feel like it’s some of the best writing that I’ve ever done”.
With a blast of horns nestled in a bed of sweet southern soul, “Raise the Alarm” opens the album as a wake-up call to a crisis looming over the horizon. Thomas’s riveting vocals shine on “Rosalee”. Standout banjo accompaniment from Peter Calo and slide guitar from Tash Neal pull this wonderful song into a bluegrass setting. There’s a very cool Steely Dan vibe on the piano-driven “I’m Moving On” as it fuses several genres together. I love how Scott Sharrard absolutely tears it up on slide. I’m totally captivated with each listen of “’Til I See You Again”. This lush, outstanding song is filled to the brim with soul and beautifully performed. Thomas lets loose on country-rocker “He’s a Winner”. Peppered with harmonica from Corrin Huddleston, this track is a sweet and fun shoutout to her life partner Wayne Warnecke who co-produced the album with Thomas. Violinist Katie Jacoby makes a guest appearance on “Fight the Good Fight” infusing a more Nashville-leaning sound to this title-track with a message of hope and encouragement.
Thomas’ Fight the Good Fight is a thought-provoking and refreshing listen. I enjoyed it through and through.
By Phillip Smith; May 8, 2022
Original source : phillycheezeblues.blogspot.com