Sweet Claudette must have some of the best titles for blues songs in this city. On this, her second CD — her first was Linament and Collard Greens — Claudette has put together 10 original tunes, several of which are particularly strong and give evidence of what the lady can do when she’s at her best.
The title track just may be my favorite of all. “Ain’t gonna wash your dirty clothes while she’s gettin’ all your money” is what Claudette tells some no-good cat who’s obviously gotten on her bad side. The groove is up-tempo with a touch of funk, simple and spare, no overload.
Perhaps what makes Claudette’s material fun to listen to is that it comes straight with no chaser. The woman doesn’t waste time on unnecessary sentiments or words, and that approach and attitude come through in the stark simplicity and honesty of her music. It’s just the basics, but sometimes the basics are all you need to get your point across.
All of Claudette’s song titles — along with the lyrics — make a sincere point in a direct fashion, but also with a sliver of raw-edged humor, the kind that can only come from having been there: “Ten Pennies Slick,” “Even a Mule Gits To Rest,” “That’s It Baby, That’s All,” “(Just Doing) Nothing Real Slow.” It’s spare, but it’s there, and it’s good stuff.
Keith A. Owens is a Detroit-based freelance writer and musician. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.