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Teresa Russell cdThough blues/rock has traditionally been a male dominated genre, it is by no means a closed shop. I have over the years reviewed works by female artists, though frankly those have been few and far between. Even the more famous blues/rockers of the fairer set have not produced works which have impressed me in their entirety, though several have had a song or two that I enjoyed. Quite honesty, though some were excellent vocalists and others credible guitarists, their works to me lacked guts and did not feature the kind of power, honesty and emotion that has so endeared me to this genre for so many years.

With that said, I am privileged to review for you today the latest release "Show You What Love Can Do" from the California based band Teresa Russell and Cocobilli. Teresa Russell is without question the finest female blues/rocker that I have heard. She is a legitimate blues/rock triple threat in that she is an excellent vocalist, intensely personal songwriter, and an emotionally charged and powerful electric guitarist. Forget adding "for a girl" after any accolades that you may want to heap on Ms. Russell, as she does not have to take a back seat to anyone in any area of musical talent. I can best describe her with a word that I seldom use in reviewing any artist, but when I do use it I hope it carries a little extra weight with my readers: the word is "special". This is an especially gifted artist.

Though "Show You What Love Can Do" is a showcase of Ms. Russell's considerable talents, it is by no means a one-woman show. The band is a classic three piece power trio and includes an impressive rhythm section of Russell's songwriting partner Billi Breland on bass and Coco Roussel on drums. The recording does not include a lot of overdubs or additional studio fluff but this band does not need to resort to gimmicks or electronic wizardry. These are consummate musicians who manage to play with almost reckless abandon at times without ever wandering outside of the bounds of the basic framework of the music. And passion? I can tell you that I have played this CD well above the decibel level generated by any car full of teenagers, complete with rap CD and $5,000 audio system. The energy and emotion levels present in this recording are among the highest I have heard.

The CD opens with the title track, which pretty well tells the story of this band. It features Russell's driving guitar, her passionate and at times sassy vocals, and plenty of rock solid work from the rhythm section. This song, like a lot of the CD, is downright spectacular in spots. And, yes ax addicts, there are both stinging electric guitar breaks as well as a goodly dose of some splendid electric slide, all compliments of the talented Ms. Russell. There are plenty of other high energy blues/rocking tunes on the set, including "Champion", "I'm Not Here To Do What You Please", and "Love Thief", a molten instrumental "Hot Licks", a red hot slow blues song "Long Way Home", and some well conceived acoustic/electric mixed offerings, most notably "Is This The Time", which begins as an acoustic track but features a scorching Dave Meniketti/Gary Moore like electric guitar break. This recording is primarily blues/rock, with a healthy offering of diverse styles of music, as all but one of the 12 tracks is over 5 minutes long with a couple passing the 8 minute mark.

At the time of this review, Teresa Russell is the ONLY woman who has ever qualified for the national finals in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's lead guitar competition. Take a listen to "Show What Love Can Do" and understand why. The CD is available from the fine folks at www.cdbaby.com or via the bands official web site at www.teresarussell.com. Needless to say, this one comes complete with the Bluesrockers.ws "hock your bowling ball for cash to buy it if you have to" recommendation.


Russell's guitar style unleashes heated torrents a la Robin Trower and Roy Gallagher, with touches of the more nuanced licks of Beck and Larry Carlton's hotter playing.

- Josef Woodard, Santa Barbara News Press

 

Teresa Russell is a legitimate blues/rock triple threat in that she is an excellent vocalist, intensely personal songwriter, and an emotionally charged and powerful electric guitarist. Without a doubt, the finest female blues/rocker that I have heard.

- Tom Branson, Bluesrockers Magazine

 

DON’T MOCK THE WOMAN OF ROCK! I used to work at a music store and among the host of aweful characters who frequented the small town shop was the "chicks can't playguitar" guy.This no brainer insisted - citing causes ranging from God to Darwin - that it was not a females place to rock. How I wish he could have met Teresa Russell. With one show she could have smashed his Neanderthal theories back to what ever cave he crawled out of. She is one of the best guitarists in the county, regardless of gender, and by far the most active.

- Chris Jay, Ventura County Reporter

 

"If you took some Stevie Ray Vaughn, added a good measure of Bonnie Raitt, then stirred with a Jeff Beck swizzle stick, you’d be getting close to the incredible music of Teresa Russell & Cocobilli.  This band absolutely re-defines “power trio”.  And Russell represents a unique talent, combining song-writing, strong vocal expression and guitar virtuosity in a single package.  Arranged with co-songwriter/bassist Billi Breland, their musical structures range from lyrical to slam rock, and everything in between.  One of my personal favorites is “Just Outside”, a heart-wrenching, love-wreck, set to honey melodies.  And on the other end, I’d have to pick “Show You What Love Can Do”, title track of their most recent CD.  The range is impressive.  Teresa Russell & Cocobilli are artists that one day will be “instantly” famous, after years of incomprehensible anonymity.  That day may be coming soon, so come see her while you can still afford the tickets".

- San Diego Review

 

I have had the pleasure of listening to a great many exceptional guitarists and Ms. Russell would play circles around many of them and be in comfortable company with the best of  them. Quite simply a Blues & Rock & Roll treat that must be experienced to be appreciated"

- Bobby Deal, Riff Magazine

 

Teresa Russell is a raging Southern California guitar phenomenon. Described as "the most awesome Female rock guitarist ...ever!" this is simply an understatement - Teresa Russell is one of the best guitarists out there: male or female.

- John Kearney, Record Reviewer

 

A powerful blues statement laden with rock-star level guitar solos.

- Bill Locey, LA Times

 

I've just had my mind blown away by listening to Teresa’s version of 'Still Got The Blues', and most especially 'Guitarmageddon' from the BluePower website. Absolutely Outstanding says it all! She has a talent to make the guitar sing in a way that I've only ever heard before in the likes of Yngwie Malmsteen and Walter Trout. Cheers!    

- Ralph Cowle, BluePower.com

 

As a pro guitarist for some 40 years I want to say that Teresa Russell has no trouble hanging with the big boys like Robben Ford, Garth Webber, Steve Morse, Larry Carlton and Bill Frisell! Continued success!   

- Lloyd Barre, blueoasis.4t.com

 

“Teresa Russell....That woman can rock!"

 Good Morning LA, Fox TV

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