Janiva Magness, Do I Move You

John Morthland

By John Morthland

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
One of the best contemporary blueswomen working.

This feisty Los Angeles (via Detroit) singer has come into her own among the cream of contemporary blueswomen. Magness has a pliable voice that she can bend to any type of song, and the emotional range to go along with it. Her reading of Delbert McClinton's sad, slow Southern soul-blues "You Were Never Mine" is absolutely heartbreaking, but on this set she also puts her personal stamp on everything from the country-blues-like "Don't Let Your Memories" to the swampy "Bad Blood" and the spellbinding title song. Her band is stocked with west coasters who never overplay, whether collectively framing and reinforcing her vocals or soloing punchy and to the point.