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Jackie Scott & the Housewreckers - How Much Woman Can You Stand?

10 tracks/46:47

This self-released debut recording shines the spotlight on Jackie Scott’s brawny voice and her talent as a songwriter. Scott sings with plenty of power but she can also adopt a softer, sultry approach as needed. She has the ability to draw you in to each of her performances no matter how weighty the lyrics might be. The tracklist includes eight originals and another song that Scott co-wrote with several band members. Her tunes primarily focus on the ups and downs of relationships, with an emphasis on the sexual nature of human interactions.

The Housewreckers consist of Tommie Fisher on keyboards and bass, Mark Hopkins on lead & slide guitar, Brandon Frazier on drums and David Holland on bass. Special guest Lil’ Ray Neal adds his lead guitar to the mix – unfortunately there isn’t anything in the notes that tells you whether Hopkins or Neal is taking the solo on a particular track. While they don’t quite live up to their name, the band is a solid aggregation that provides Scott with a consistently strong musical framework.

Scott quickly demonstrates her vocal skills on the opening track, “Put Your Name On It”, which warns women to hang on to their man because there’s another woman waiting to grab him and treat him right. Scott’s voice expertly rides the easy-rolling tempo. “It Ain’t That Easy” struts with a harder edge and features Bill Albergotti on harmonica. Once again Scott’s performance stays low-key as she resists the temptation to show off but still delivers a meaningful vocal.

The slower tracks show Scott at her best. She sounds like a youthful Etta James on “I Can Tell”, her voice growing in intensity until she growls out the chorus with conviction. The title track is another highlight. It’s a standard slow blues but Scott enlivens it by describing all of the great things her man has promised her – then telling him she better get what she wants and asking if he is up to the task. Scott purrs and roars, shouting with gospel intensity. The understated guitar work on this track is a great complement to Scott’s bravura performance. “Mr. Devil” is a smoldering track with Scott relating her “encounter” with Devil, a battle for her soul. Scott once again delivers a strong vocal, resisting the urge to throw in a lot of needless vocal gymnastics and just let the power of her voice command the listener’s attention.

“Teddy’s Juke Joint” is a party-time blues tribute to a favorite watering hole. The pace slows on “Get Up With You” with Scott lamenting a lover she can’t get over. Scott delivers a cautionary tale on about a marriage to a military man who had one request, “Keep Your Legs Crossed”. The band lays down a slow-burning groove “Don’t Let the Smooth Taste Fool You” with Scott’s vocal dripping with sexual tension.

Scott and the Housewreckers made quite an impression at this year’s International Blues Challenge. Representing the Baltimore Blues Society, Scott was named one of the finalists in the Band competition. While she did not win, Scott had plenty of opportunities to showcase her prodigious vocal talent. You can expect to see her name on the rosters of numerous blues festivals this year. And once people listen to this fine recording, Scott should quickly find herself being mentioned as one of the top female blues singers. This one is highly recommended!!!

Reviewer Mark Thompson is president of the Crossroads Blues Society in Rockford, IL.

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