Terri Shaltiel ‘Sweet Thing’ (Private Press) 3/5

Back in November 2014 uk vibe gave the public a brief introduction to a young, dynamic, Northern based funky, blues ‘n’ soul singer/songwriter/musician who at the time was courting crowd-funding in order to bring her debut album to market. Well Terri Shaltiel is proof positive that persistence overcomes resistance. 2017 sees the manifestation of that dream in the form of a tangible seven track CD album entitled ‘Sweet Thing’.

The album kicks off with the feisty, punchy and ‘in your face’ ‘This Bitch’ with the horn section and Hammond organ duelling it out whilst Ms Shaltiel exercises her lungs to the fullest. Track 3 ‘Lose My Mind’ has a languid, lazy, bluesy lilt which is well-suited to Shaltiel’s earthy vocal tones. This bluesy, even paced vibe rolls over into ‘Fatherless Child’ an overt nod it seems in the direction of two of Terri Shaltiel’s prime influences i.e Marva Whitney and Etta James. Midway through the track changes gear to a bossa nova number entitled ‘Daddy’ which while pleasant is not the best musical vehicle for Shaltiel’s unique vocal styling.

Normal business is resumed on ‘Daddy Bad’ where both the band and the main protagonist let loose the shackles with a full on attack on the senses with those incessant horns pushing to the front culminating in a powerful saxophone solo from Atholl Ransom. The standout track for this scribe is the sublimely bluesy ballad ‘One of These Days’ which harnesses all of Ms Shaltiel’s expressive and distinctive vocal qualities and range as well as her proficiency as a guitarist. Furthermore Malc Deakin’s emotive Hammond organ playing is a constant undercurrent throughout giving the track that authentic old school blues tinge. The album finishes as it began with another feisty offering as an outro in the form of ‘Now I’m Gone’. As with most vocalists Terri Shaltiel’s talent is best experienced in the live arena where her intensity, sassiness and connectivity with the audience can be fully appreciated. However, as an introduction to an extremely talented songwriter, producer, singer and musician whose star is yet to ascend to its fullest height ‘Sweet Thing’ is a commendable debut release.

Michael J Edwards