The Thomas family is one mighty clan. Patriarch Rufus Thomas was a vaudeville star who went on to become a staple in the Memphis scene, making an indelible mark on the history of R&B. He ensured that his legacy would live on through his talented children: Carla Thomas, the hit recording artist lovingly dubbed the “Memphis Queen,” keyboardist Marvell Thomas and Vaneese, his youngest, who is getting set to release her seventh album, The Long Journey Home on September 16th on Segue Records. Like her father and older siblings before her, Vaneese is a natural born entertainer, and through her decades in the music industry, she’s gone from backing such greats as Aretha Franklin, Sting and Stevie Wonder to standing smack dab in the spotlight as a successful solo artist. For the follow up to her acclaimed 2014 album, Blues for my Father, Thomas penned 11 original tunes (and lent her signature vocals to one unexpected cover, Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain”) and recorded them live in-studio with a full band, a serendipitous homage to her father, who cut his tracks the same way at Stax and Sun Records.
Today, Elmore is premiering Thomas’ track, “Sweet Talk Me,” a funky barn-burner that features the singer’s sultry, soulful vocals center stage, and is guaranteed to get you up on your feet. Thomas says of the track, ““Sweet Talk Me” is inspired by the hundreds of stories we know about women who’ve been “sweet talked” into relationships even when it might not be the best thing for them. There is something in the voice and in the charm that draws them in. Resistance is futile!” The passion that the songstress pours into her recordings is evident, her lusty, low growl propelling the track atop a strolling bassline. “It’s the first song on the album because of its engaging beat,” she told Elmore. “Carolyn Mitchell and I really wanted it to have people dancing and singing along right from the start. The ‘talk-sing’ at the end is like looking people in the eye and telling them how this man affects you. ‘No need denying!’ He’s got me! This album has many elements. Happy is one of them. Odd for the blues! Hopefully it expands people’s idea of the blues.”
Listen to “Sweet Talk Me” below, and get in the groove with Vaneese at her record release show this Thursday, September 15th at DROM in New York City. Grab your tickets for the show here, connect with Thomas via her website and pick up a copy The Long Journey Home this Friday.