This Is Real Music
If you have ever thought about how to pay homage to the people and place that made you, Gabbie McGee's second album Mississippi's Daughter may provide some great inspiration. A harmonious blend of the soul, gospel, jazz, and Mississippi Delta blues, McGee creates a soul-satisfying music experience. Together, all parts of the album-vocals, lyrics, and production-are amazing but what makes Mississippi's Daughter even better is each piece is equally solid on its own. McGee's voice is all homegrown Southern Baptist with overtones of jazz and soul like her vocal inspirations Nina Simone and Sarah Vaughn.
Her sound is most distinctive on Walk With Me and the beginning of Run On! where instrumentation is minimal and only McGee's voice is the focus. With the title track McGee sings her story weaving her vocals around the roots of Mississippi that made and shaped her. As she proclaims "I'm Mississippi born/Mississippi raised/Mississippi taught/I was Mississippi made/Got a Mississippi walk/A slow and steady stride" listeners will hear the pride emoting in the notes. McGee pays homage to the women of her life on the soaring Oak Tree; the love of her life on the clapping He Makes Me Say (Boobie's Anthem); and balance of her life on the interlude Marriage, Motherhood & Music.
The album encompasses a range of life's transitions from love with Idealistic Love to the sometimes overwhelming weight of life with Help Wanted (two of my favorites tracks). With Mississippi's Daughter McGee uses her influences to tell her story in her own musically individual way. And you can be sure the Magnolia State is looking upon her like a proud parent.
Most people have heard the encouraging saying: "Home is where the heart is." Gabbie McGee's southern charm can be attributed to the deep roots of her native Mississippi . The admiration for the family that raised her and people who shaped her life is manifested on McGee's sophomore disc, Mississippi's Daughter. Her tribute to the place which started it all also documents joys and lessons learned from childhood to the present.
Mississippi's Daughter is a pleasing palette of many colors wrapped in a soulful package. "Afterwhile, Afterwhile," spiced with a cool jazz flair, sums up her optimistic attitude about life by quoting a verse from the popular spiritual, "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands." The 80s-flavored quiet storm ballad, "Help Wanted," exposes McGee's vulnerable side: "Don't believe me when I say I'm fine." Her eclectic influences from Ella to Ledisi run all over the ambitious "SOUL.JAZZ.AMPLIFIED./How I Got Over It"; a musical menu of funk, rock, jazz and Broadway. Finally, the core of Mississippi's Daughter is the gospel-fueled "Oak Tree," McGee's moving salute to several generations of her family. McGee focuses on feeling right at home on Mississippi's Daughter and brings her audience on this wonderful tour.
Notable Tracks: Everything
Vocals: 4.0 stars
Music: 3.5 stars
Lyrics: 4.0 stars
Production: 3.5 stars
SoulTracks Call: Highly Recommended