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L.A. Beat

Rita Chiarelli back to singing the blues

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It is  great to have a new CD from Hamilton born blueswoman, Rita Chiarelli. And while she won awards for her 2007 CD of Italian folk songs ‘Cuore: The Italian Sessions,’ it is even better to have her back doing  what she does best— singing the blues in her distinctive whiskey and cigarette  soaked gravelly voice on her eighth CD ‘Sweet Paradise,’ which will be released March 22.Click here to hear Rita Chiarelli
She has added  quite a few  traditional instruments including organ, accordion, banjo and mandolin. The mandolin is especially prevalent on the first track  ‘I Believe.’
The upbeat and catchy gospel tinged ‘Rest My Bones’ features violin.
Chiarelli shows how soulfully she can sing on the tender ballads ’Light the Fire’ and ‘If It Was Love.’
A complete counterpoint to those ballads is the sassy ‘French Kiss,’ a CD's highlight which is powered by piano and features a some coquettish French lyrics, plus a pretty sweet solo, one of several on the CD, performed by Papa John King.
‘Stone By Stone,’ is another uptempo, organ powered number  which also has a bit of a gospel feel.“‘Going Down to New Orleans, is another catchy number powered by violin. An old country influence comes to the fore on “Cowboy’s Lullabye,’ with some sweet interplay between violin, piano and acoustic guitar.  But for the most part, ‘Sweet Paradise,’ is a more sedate release from Chiarelli which has a variety of influences from jazz to country to ’60s pop (Especially on ‘Black to Blue.’ But surprisingly doesn’t have as much of Chiarelli’s firey  guitar playing as I would have liked. However her vocal melodies are powerful and heart-wrenching.
—By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Cd: Sweet Paradise
Artist: Rita Chiarelli
Genre: blues
Record Label: Mad Iris Music
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