New Orleans often gets
short shrift when it comes to recognition as a cradle of
modern-day funk, but, in fact, the Crescent City has a long and
distinguished history of producing cutting-edge funk beginning
in the late 1960s and continuing to the present day.
And Veda Love’s Make
Me Yours Tonight represents a major chapter in that honored New
Orleans tradition, offering up a healthy portion of what one of
the CD’s hottest tracks aptly describes as “Southern Fried Gumbo
Coming up in one of
the city’s most-venerated gospel choirs and paying dues with
top-rank headliners like Eddie Bo, Johnny Adams, and Jean
Knight, lead vocalist Veda Love stands squarely in the Crescent
City soul tradition.
But most of all, this
passionate songstress upholds the New Orleans custom of powerful
ensemble music, blending attention-getting vocals with her
super-talented back-up band in way that recalls the glory days
of Chaka Khan and Rufus.
arrangements perfectly suited to her passionate style, Veda Love
shines on fresh remakes of classics like “Standing on Shaky
Ground” and “Rock Me Baby,” moving interpretations of three
Joseph “Mr. Big Stuff” Broussard compositions, and a pair of
ballads by Denise LaSalle, obviously a Southern soul sister.
Along the way, there
are a number of straight-out funk assaults that include “Groove
Attack,” the aforementioned “Southern Fried Gumbo Funk,” and a
totally unbelievable recasting of “When the Saints Go Marchin’
In,” bass-driven, super-syncopated, and smoking hot. Funk in New
Orleans? One listen to Veda Love and you won’t have to ask.