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14.11.07

Ana Popovic


anapopovic-hush2002




Ana Popovic - Hush! - 2002 - Ruf Records

The universal appeal of the blues could not be better demonstrated than on this great breakout album by youthful Yugoslavian singer/guitarist Ana Popovic. Her 2000 debut disc Hush! effectively shows off her great talent. Buy her great albums, "Comfort To The Soul ," & " Still Making History. "

TRACKS

Love Fever
Mended
Hometown
I Won't Let You Down
The Hustle Is On
Downtown
How Lonely Can A Woman Get
Walk Away
Girl Of Many Worlds
Minute 'till Dawn
Bring Your Fine Self Home
How The Mighty Have Fallen

PERSONNEL

Steve Potts - drums
Jack Holder - guitar
Ana Popovic - vocals, guitar
Scott Thompson - trumpet
Dave Smith - bass
Ernest Williamson - piano, organ
Susan Marshall - background vocals
Jacqueline Johnson
Sam Shoup - upright bass
William Lee Ellis - acoustic guitar

Also: Bernard Allison

REVIEWS

Can a young lady from Yugoslavia really have a handle on the blues? You betcha! Popovic's mild European accent adds an interesting character to her sassy vocals, and she sings the blues with obvious comfort and confidence. Add to this the fact that Ana is also quite handy with a guitar, and you have the complete blues package. The CD's overall feel is upbeat and spunky, but not heavy. There is a consistent presence of guitar through out the CD, but I would stop short of calling this a guitar oriented disc. Elsewhere I've read comparisons of Popovic's style to Hendrix and SRV, but this is not accurate... nor is it fair to Ana. She truly has a very individual style that is pretty much unique to her. There's a bit of bite dialed into the guitar's tone, but it's not over-stated or heavily over-driven. She plays both standard and slide guitar, and she's very capable in either mode. I like her slide work the best. She grinds out a strong, bluesy feel, often mixing in a little wah-wah... very nice. When she's fretting the guitar, there's sometimes a light, jazzy feel to her playing, and a couple of songs were obviously arranged to compliment that style. There are an equal number of covers and originals, and there is no fall off as the CD transistions between them. There are clearly some talented songwriters in this group. I like nearly all the songs on the CD equally well, but my favorites are the ones featuring Popovic's on slide. I think it's pretty safe to say that most every blues guitar freak's favorite song will be Ana's duet with Bernard Allison, "Bring Your Fine Self Home". It's an excellent, moving, and fun redition of this popular song. The pair trade licks on slide guitar, and it's a good match up. Hush! is an overall well balanced CD. Popovic's vocals and guitar each share equally in delivering the music. Neither outweights, nor is more significant, than the other. The backing musicians provide an interesting variety of rhythms and are solid backdrop for Ana to work from. The production and technical aspects of the disc are top notch. Hush! doesn't really fit a typical mold for any certain style of blues. It's a rather unique and fresh blend of moods and styles, while still maintaining a strong connection with the blues. So there you have it. This young lady from Yugoslavia can definitely play the blues, and it's easy for me to recommend this CD to any blues fan. (Review Published July 22, 2002 , © www.electricblues.com)

While the U.S., Britain, and to a lesser extent Canada don't have a stranglehold on the blues, these countries account for the majority of music being produced in that genre. Therefore, when someone from a different nationality releases a strong album in the States, it usually makes news, at least in the rarefied blues universe. Born and raised in Yugoslavia, Ana Popovic would seem to have been brought up in an unusual area to soak in the deep soul, robust swamp rock, and husky R&B she reveals on her first album. But music is a universal language, and Popovic, along with noted blues-rock producer Jim Gaines, has delivered a rugged, confident, and eclectic debut that showcases the artist's many strengths (especially on slide guitar) in songs that shift from jazz ("I Won't Let You Down," "Minute 'Til Dawn") to deep funk (an innovative cover of Tom Waits' "Downtown") and soulful pop ("How Lonely Can a Woman Get?"). With a husky, sensuous voice similar to the Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde, she digs into these tunes with authority, even if English isn't her first language. A duet (guitar and vocal) with Bernard Allison on Johnny Copeland's "Bring Your Fine Self Home" is both sexy and gritty, as the two trade verses and riffs with obvious excitement and mutual respect. A raging version of Buddy Guy's "A Man of Many Words" (here titled "Girl of Many Words") rescues that song from obscurity as Popovic whips out a slimy version with rollicking horns that updates the tune while making it her own. Her originals don't push the limits of the genre, yet they are compressed slices of blues-rock that are excellent showcases for Popovic's tough vocals, wiry, Hendrix-styled leads, and robust stance. The self-penned "Hometown," a greasy, slinky trip down to New Orleans with hypnotic tribal drums, is but one of the album's gripping centerpieces. Recorded in Memphis and sounding like it, Popovic has captured the city's evocative, unvarnished R&B charm on this polished but far-from-slick album. A welcome shot of sex and showmanship in the blues world, Ana Popovic's American debut is a tour de force for this newcomer brimming with sass, brains, and talent. © Hal Horowitz, All Music Guide

3 comments:

A.O.O.F.C said...

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oz said...

Ana Popovic - i had never heard of her - i downloaded both the albums you have based on the reviews and now i have heard them i have bought the other two albums from amazon

thanks for the great introduction. :-)

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi! Oz. Thanks for comment. She's a brilliant artiste. Glad you enjoyed and bought her albums. She deserves a bigger audience. Such talent is rare. I'll be looking out for more of her music, and possibly post it. Keep in touch with A.O.O.F.C...Cheers!