Ms Zeno The Mojo Queen ‘Back In Love’ CD (Blue Lotus Recordings) 4/5

Originally from Louisiana, soul blues legend Mojo Queen has made Memphis, TN her home the past thirty years. She earned the legendary title by being a long time popular entertainer on world-famous Beale Street in Memphis with over 2000 shows and various projects under her name. She has travelled all over the globe and shared the stage with greats like Bo Diddley, Little Milton, Leon Russell, Albert King, Ann Peebles, Johnny Winter, Isaac Hayes, B.B. King and many more. Ms Zeno has received national and international media coverage from NBC`s Nightly News to Good Morning America, from the Washington Post to Commercial Appeal. She has also appeared in the movie “Innerstate”, singing one for her original compositions, “Love Denied”.

You may recall this label for the truly excellent Roland Johnson album that we reviewed some time ago, that truly has matured as the complete album it always promised it would be and lets not forget that wonderful Gene Jackson album too. In fact both appear as backing vocalists on here. Blue Lotus should be shouting from the rooftops about this one as it contains the soul ballad of the year in, “In My Shoes”, a wonderful passion fuelled southern piece of story telling concerning the usual betrayal in love, echoes of the halcyon days when Barbara Mason, Shirley Brown, Denise Lasalle etc. all ruled the soul airwaves with tales of love, slipping around the ultimate betrayal – who could ever forget the iconic “Woman to Woman” and its response – well this is up there with it. She’s pleading “You have the key to ease my pain” and “what would you do if you were in my shoes”, well most of us have been there at some point in our lives. I really can’t tell you how good this is, it’s worth buying the album for. Another ballad will have you captivated too. The superb, “Love is like a flower”, with excellent lyrics and great horns. There is also a crossover style dancer that’s worth some attention too. “That’s How I Know”, has similar instrumentation to several cuts on the Gene Jackson album and is a real stand out tune. There are a number of other cuts on here of interest. “Mistress” took a while but I’m falling for the way it builds into several crescendos only to drop you back. “What Am I Supposed To Do When My Heart Belongs To You” – she’s begging him to give her his name and in the next breath she admits he has a wife at home, very powerful and listenable. A thoroughly enjoyable album that I sense will grow in stature as time passes. Available through most outlets.

Brian Goucher