- Do I Move You?
- Janiva Magness
- NorthernBlues Music
For the third year in a row, Janiva Magness was nominated for the Blues Foundation’s Blues Music Award as Contemporary Female Artist of the Year. This year, 2006, she won. This album shows us why.
Originally from Detroit and now a denizen of Southern California, Magness has been producing quality albums and sterling live shows for years, while remaining just under the radar of widespread blues recognition. “Do I Move You?” admirably showcases her impressive vocal strengths. It features an eclectic selection of songs, 3 of which were composed by her husband, the bass player and multi-instrumentalist Jeff Turmes. The back-up band is stellar throughout, especially the rhythm section.
The tunes run a gamut of styles. “I’m Just a Prisoner,” the opener, introduces Magness’s sultry but powerful pipes. The album then segues nicely into Willie Dixon’s “Workin’ on Me Baby,” followed by the diverse stylings of Turmes and songs of Delbert McClinton and Denise LaSalle among others. Magness’s version of the country blues, “Don’t Let Your Memories,” is revelatory. Her rendition of the Nina Simone title track is spine-tingling (and overcomes one of the worst blues lines ever penned: “When I touch you, do you quiver/From your head down to your liver?”). “Stealin’ Sugar” and “A Man Size Job” convey a brash erotic sizzle, and can only be termed the best of bedroom blues.
At times Magness reminds one of Bonnie Raitt, Susan Tedeschi, and even Bessie Smith, but her voice remains her own. She’s hit the big time now, finally and deservedly.