Album Review

Angela Strehli - Blue Highway

Angela Strehli - Blue Highway

Angela Strehli may have departed Austin and the nascent blues community she helped nurture at the storied Antone's Nightclub for northern California fifteen years ago, but as she makes clear from the first notes of "Austin's Home Of The Blues" on her first solo studio album in seven years, she never left Texas blues and Antone's behind. How could she, since she was queen mother of a scene that produced Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimmie Vaughan, Kim Wilson, Lou Ann Barton, and Marcia Ball, among others? Blue Highway is part road trip back to that place and time, paying tribute to her young protege with "SRV", documenting their professional relationship with the inclusion of "C.O.D." (the Albert King composition she performed with Stevie and his expanded big band at Carnegie Hall in 1985), and covering Ernie K-Doe's "Hello My Lover" (a duet with Paul Thorn) and Ann Pebbles' "Slipped, Tripped, And Fell In Love". But other tracks such as the funky, molasses-on-the-pavement "Blue Highway" and the dirty blues croon of "I Don't Know Why" really tell this tale; contemporary female blues vocalists don't come smokier or more coolly understated than this.