Kaz Hawkins – Memories of
Format: CD – Digital/ Label: Independent
Release: 2020

Text: Iain Patience

Kaz Hawkins hails from Northern Ireland, the same place that gave us Van Morrison and his first incarnation with the band, Them, in the 1960s. Like Morrison, she has a positively soaring vocal delivery and a truly wonderful blues voice that simply rips through the ether and delivers bags of pure delight and pounding pleasure for listeners. In recent years she has picked up leading industry, blues music award nominations on numerous occasions.

Photo credits: Francis Blot

Now a newly arrived resident of France, she has turned out this genuinely glorious offering, an album that is pretty much guaranteed to bring most to their dancing feet with a gripping list of great standard tracks, almost all well-known, best- loved examples of the very best of the vintage soul-blues genre.

Hawkins is happy to admit to her own deeply held, personal love of the late great Etta James, her primary personal source of influence, inspiration and sisterly survival. The album itself reflects her recently widely acclaimed European touring set, ‘Memories of Etta James.’

With ten tracks featured, Hawkins includes striking covers of Something’s Got a Hold On Me, St Louis Blues, I Just Wanna Make Love To You, and a neatly conceived key-shifting version of Spoonful.’ Hawkins’ take on the classic, ‘(in this case) Miss Pitiful, is absolutely outstanding and captivatingly roars with heartfelt emotion and passion, her raw, rippling delivery working pretty well perfectly throughout.

‘Memories of’ is no sit-back, late night easy listening journey. No way, here we have one of those albums that really does demand cranking up the volume from start to finish…before possibly hitting repeat again. An excellent release that never dims or drifts from its commanding core of molten soul music.

01. Something’s Got A Hold On Me
02. Miss Pitiful
03. Losers Weepers
04. Security
05. Spoonful
06. Tell Mama
07. Blind Girl
08. St Louis Blues
09. I Just Wanna Make Love To You
10. At Last

Website: Kaz Hawkins