“I’m Gonna Do What I Want”
‘Lil Spinner Records
Release: May 29, 2020
By Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro
With Duffy Bishop’s house rockin’ performance on the stage at B. B. Kings in Memphis during the International Blues Challenge still very fresh in my mind, the timing of this review of her new release – “I’m Gonna Do What I Want” – could not have been more perfect. During that competition, I saw at least forty music performances and not one of them – winners included – put on a more vibrant and energetic performance than Duffy. Acting half her age – and most likely inspiring other performers who actually are half her age – Duffy, basically ‘doing what she wanted’, jumped and bounced around the stage and belted the hell out of the blues from the opening to closing bell. Had the audience reaction been counted for points, she’d have won that venue hands down.
“I’m Gonna Do What I Want” is the ninth release from from Duffy Bishop, and back in 2015, when Duffy first relocated from OR to FL, I had the pleasure of reviewing number eight as well. For this project, vocalist Duffy Bishop is joined by: husband Chris Carlson on guitars; Alex Richman on piano and organ; Paul Unsworth on drums; and Rusty Springfield on electric and upright bass. Additional guests include: Dave Fleschner on organ; Rob Ellis Peck on harmonica; and Greg Weir on saxes. Of the disc’s nine tracks, five are band originals. During my reviews, I’ll occasionally incorporate the song’s title in a sentence I’m writing about that song so I’ve got to go on record as saying I was quite impressed with Duffy’s creative way of using the title of every song in her liner notes story. Now let’s go listen to some music…..
On the opening and title track, when Duffy boldly and very matter-of-fact like belts out the line “I’m Gonna Do What I Want” (C. Carlson), you get the impression that nobody’s gonna tell her any different….as a matter of fact, those words were the very next line. Although that list of things she wants to do – like “eat pasghetti (sic) for breakfast” – is humorous, there’s no doubt it can get a whole lot more serious. Musically, about midway through the track – with some nice piano and sax highlights creating a real cool rhythm vibe behind him – Chris gets in a hot minute long guitar lead.
When it’s time to get bawdy, good lawdy, Ms Bishop will be happy to oblige. This one is about the antics that took place after Duffy’s “69 Years Old” (C. Carlson/D. Bishop) boyfriend went to “See Alice”…..if you get her drift. Lyrically, it’s an all out riot – especially the part when Duffy’s states that “if that little soldier stands up for more than four hours I’m calling my friends………..”. The song is obviously satirical of the Muddy Waters’ classic “She’s Nineteen Years Old”. The slow blues groove with the lazy, steady rhythm and the scorching blues guitar licks will testify to that. Considering that this is an original written by Duffy and Chris, I’m now wondering if it’s satirical at all…….just joking guys.
Several times already, I’ve referred to the way Duffy presents a song with the words “belting” – and that’s not an exaggeration, it’s what she does. However, as this and a few other tracks will prove, this powerful vocalist in no one trick pony. With Alex, Paul and Rusty laying down one of their best rhythm grooves behind her, Duffy steals the show on “Must Be My Fault” (T. LeGrand). It’s a laid back, toned down number…..well at least by her standards…..on which Duffy showcases absolutely magnificent finesse, control, tone, range and an over outstanding vocal ability.
“My Road Is Not Wide” (L. Brown) is somewhat similar to the above. It’s a slow, bluesy ballad on which Duffy soulfully, emotionally and sincerely sings her heart out.
If you’re going to write and sing a song about a train, and you want it to smoke like a steam engine, you’d better make sure it has a frantic rhythm pace; some piercing, locomotive sounding harmonica leads; ditto on the guitar leads; and a vocal performance that keeps up with all that. “Whistle Callin'” (D. Bishop) checks all those boxes and more.
The disc closes with an equally interesting and beautiful song titled “New Song” (P. Unsworth). It’s a light jazzy number with a Louis Armstrong vibe. It features Chris doing some seriously smooth pickin’ on what sounds like a resonator; Paul faintly tappin’ the snare; Rusty caressing the big bass; and Duffy sounding angelic-like in falsetto and laying down one of the best mouth trumpet solos ever.
Other tracks on “I’m Gonna Do What I Want” include: “Love Grown Cold”, an easy shuffle by the late, great blues harpist Paul deLay ; “You Don’t Own Me” (J. Mendora/D. White), a bluesy take on the Leslie Gore classic ; and “One Time”(C. Carlson), a Stones style rocker.
To find out more about Duffy Bishop and the band just go to www.duffybishop.com – and to purchase the disc, or to receive a copy for airplay, just email her at [email protected]. When you do, please tell Duffy and Chris that the Blewzzman sent you.
Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro
Blues Editor @ www.Mary4Music.com
2011 Keeping the Blues Alive Recipient