When I met Diane Durrett down at The High Lonesome Saloon in Georgia last year, I had no idea who I was meeting. I never knew just what an accomplished singer/songwriter I was shaking hands with. I had no idea what she had been through on her musical journey, nor did I know she doubled as a fine author as well. Now I know.
Diane’s music has more soul than a stack of old James Brown vinyl. This girl can sing. She can also write a good tune.
“Love Ain’t That Smart” seems to slide somewhere between the pop/Americana sound of Amy Grant and the blues rock of Bonnie Raitt. Not a bad couple of girls to be compared to. Just a great song.
The title track, “Blame it On My DNA” is a great blues romp, and “Seventeen” is one of my favorite tracks on the album. Nostalgic and fun, a look back at her youth. The chorus surely catches the ear of us old school Southern Rockers.
“We were wild and free - seventeen
Free Birds flying in the wind.”
Oh, and the slide from Benji Shanks adds a great touch that fits the song like a glove. Also, Caroline Aiken and Dona Hopkins sound great on backing vocals with Diane.
“Just Believe” is as funky as last weeks socks, with a sexy smooth vocal. Like a mid-seventies Top 40 hit. Good stuff.
Before I go any further, I need to run down the musicians on this album, just so you’ll know who we are dealing with. On drums, we have the legendary Bernard Burdie, you know, of King Curtis’ band, who played for Aretha and James Brown, to name just a couple; also on drums, Yonrico Scott from The Derek Trucks Band; and on B-3 and piano is Ike Stubblefield, who played with everyone from Marvin Gaye to Eric Clapton; and jazz trumpeter Joey Somerville. The entire roster of players is impressive, and each of them help to make this one fine CD. Durrett’s co-writers include producer Ike Stubblefield, Nashville’s Jimbeau Hinson (Hillbilly Highway), King Mojo artist Liz Melendez and former STAX records artist William Bell.
“In Between Times” is a downright beautiful r&b pop song, as is “Ready.” Fact is, the entire record is just plain good.
“Cook it Up” closes out the set with a guest appearance from the late Donnie McCormick (Eric Quincy Tate) on chicken coup percussion. It’s a funky, funky soul food tale, and my absolute favorite on the album. That is, if I have to pick just one.
All I can say is, do yourself a favor and check this one out. I myself am off now to look into acquiring some of Durrett’s back catalog. I am now officially fan.
-Michael Buffalo Smith