Album Reviews

Peaches Staten – Live At Legends (Swississippi)

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Peaches Staten - Live At LegendsShe plays all over the world but outside of Chicago, few in the States are aware of the vocal prowess of Peaches Staten. She fits in well on the new Chicago label Swississippi, which was co-founded by Swiss harp player Chris Harper (who guests on the album), and his partner Dave Katzman. The two aim to feature talented but under-publicized artists in order to produce an unsurpassed sound for blues. This genre is more than ready for another big-voiced female belter, and Staten may be the answer.

The album is the last live recording at Buddy Guy’s Legends’ former location where Katzman had been the sound engineer for 19 years. Mississippi-born Staten was raised in Chicago singing blues, gospel, soul and R&B. As she began her professional career she fronted both a Zydeco and Brazilian samba band, demonstrating her versatility and a crowd pleasing flair for playing the washboard. You can sense that excitement on her “Gotta Find My Man.” There are a few originals and clever covers of “I’d Rather Go Blind,” “Bad Case of Lovin’ You” and the late Chico Banks’ “It Must Be Love.” Staten’s voice not only fills the room but shakes it too.

—Jim Hynes

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