Sue Menhart Band ~ Gypsy Soul
Date: Saturday, June 06, 2009 @ 18:36:37 UTC

Artist: Sue Menhart Band

CD: Gypsy Soul

Home: Connecticut

Style: Blues/Rock

Quote: "Menhart is a wonderful, natural singer, and the band is tight and equally robust."

By Dan MacIntosh

This bandís four-song EP opens with its title track, and for Sue Menhart, the gypsy soul symbolizes freedom. The songís lyric speaks about all of those chores and obligations that keep us from doing what we really want to do, and loving those we truly want to love. Our daily life roles may involve being suit and tied, or wearing some company uniform or other. But deep in our heart of hearts, we simply want to be ourselves and not representatives of some organization or other.

The kick-off track begins with a mysterious sounding guitar part, before going into a cranking rock groove. "Say hello to my gypsy soul," Menhart ultimately announces. And Menhart is a powerful singer, make no mistake about it. Each and every line is delivered with the authority of one who refuses to ever take "no" for an answer.

The Sue Menhart Band goes into its best soul-rock groove during "Why You Love Me." In addition to Menhartís upfront singing, the track features an elastic electric guitar groove, as well as noteworthy keyboard and guitar solos. The songís lyric discusses the mystery of love. And letís face it, we all feel a little unlovable at times, right? "Itís a mystery to me why you love me."

Just one in this quartet of songs is a slow number, but the disc-ending "The Choice" proves Menhart to also be quite adept at singing ballads. Menhart dedicates it to her husband and "the wacky couple" they make together. When she tells her husband that she chose well, the listener is convinced she honestly means this declaration.

Only "Coming Home" keeps this CD from earning an A grade. Although Menhart has the best intentions when praising American servicemen with it, her lyrics are awkward. Itís almost as though she wrote them off the top of her head, instead of taking the time to make each and every line contain an equal number of syllables.

The Sue Menhart Band has potential to be great. Menhart is a wonderful, natural singer, and the band is tight and equally robust. Iíd love to hear this group take on a straight blues song, for instance, because Menhart would certainly burn volcano hot on something like that. And the instrumental chops displayed during "Why You Love Me" also suggest a strong aptitude for jazz.

Itís appropriate that the band is all wearing blue jeans on the discís cover photo because this is a hardworking band, and one not afraid to get its hands a little dirty. But this working class-like dedication pays off, as Gypsy Soul is an excellent example of the actís skilled craftsmanship.

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