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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Treat Me Right

Posted By on Wed, Aug 13, 2008 at 12:00 AM

This third elease from Charlotte, N.C., singer-songwriter Robin Rogers delivers both exciting original content and some well-placed covers. It makes for a cohesive mix of style, substance, soul and chops, something that's obvious from the time the title track, a lesser-known B.B. King composition, kicks things off in a spirited manner. Rogers' smoky vocals are punctuated by a steady swing groove throughout the disc, and she's also an accomplished harmonica player, accentuating her dynamic and visceral vocals with tasty fills on tracks like the jazzy "Can You Hear Me Now."

The artist's choice of cover material is excellent throughout this fine slice of Americana, jazz, blues and funk. But what really stands out is the strength of her songwriting. What Detroiters may find of most special interest here, however, is the haunting original tune entitled "Color-Blind Angel." Composed by Rogers and her guitarist-husband Tony, the song is a chilling account of white Detroit nurse turned civil rights activist Viola Liuzzo who was murdered by the Ku Klux Klan during her service to the movement in Selma, Ala., in 1965. The song harbors an eerie and dirge-like quality that pays tribute to this oft-forgotten soldier from southeast Michigan and reminds us all that the fight for personal freedoms knew no racial barrier.

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