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Freddie Mack

Pittsburgh Blues Society Review
Lucy Van Sickle
I'm a Woman

Lucy Van Sickle
I have always admired Lucy's harmonica playing from the first moment I heard her many years ago at the Penn Café. Her warm tone and skillful vibrato has inspired me to new levels of my own playing. She is, and always has been a vocal powerhouse with a set of pipes that would make an opera star blush. This recording captures a few of the highlights of her many talents.

Lucy's vocals and harp are the centerpiece of her latest release entitled "I'm a Woman." By far, the best way to appreciate her is to see her at one of her live shows. This CD is mostly studio versions of songs that Lucy performs live. It features some interesting arrangements that are quite unique. Especially notable are the covers of "I'm Ready" and "Hard to Handle." Both are very slick, and aggressive without being in your face.

The band behind her is a solid group of excellent musicians, but make no mistake; this is Lucy's band. All players are there to lend their support any way they can. John Wolfe and Mark Pollera do some great work on bass and drums respectively. Larry Belli does a great job on guitar by delivering exactly the right thing at just the right time. Pittsburgh's very own saxophone legend Johnny Smoothe and Victor Garzotto on the Hammond Organ round out the line-up. Take note: this release contains Lucy's best work to date. You'll need to get your own copy, cause' I'm not letting go of mine.

Copyright, Fred McIntosh. All rights reserved.