Wild & Blue - Restless
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Restless (New Favorite, 2021)

Wild & Blue

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

The debut release from the Santa Cruz, Cal. father/daughter duo known as Wild & Blue is a pleasing mix of classic country and '60s soul. Dad Steve Bennett is the creative force of the family band writing all of the nine original tracks, but the album is driven by the powerful vocals of daughter April Bennett. The soulful "Ain't Got Much Time" kicks off the set featuring vocals reminiscent of Janis Joplin augmented with the pedal steel guitar of Charlie Wallace, while the jazz flavored closing track "World of Our Own" recalls Nora Jones and highlights Max Bennett-Parker on keyboards and Mike Lent on electric guitar.

April is equally effective on the country weeper "Wedding Dress For Sale" inspired by her own experience of a failed engagement ("Paid the deposit on the hall/I guess I'm gonna lose it") with vocals more in the spirit of Patsy Cline or Loretta Lynn featuring hot licks by guitarist Jim Lewin and some fancy fiddle from Andy Lentz. The covers of John Fogerty's "Long As I Can See the Light" and Kris Kristofferson's "Please Don't Tell Me How the Story Ends" further demonstrate April's vocal range.

Steve takes the lead vocal on some of the stronger country tracks such as the ballad "Looking at Me, Looking at You" about longing for a lost love ("I dream about the next time we're together/I'd even take a stolen hour or two") and "You Woke Up My Heart" with a more hopeful outlook ("Now I feel the sunshine/I'm no longer blue"). The duo trades verses and share smooth harmonies on "Thanks For Loving Me."

Produced by Steve Bennett along with fellow California musician Jesse DeCarlo, "Restless" is an entertaining effort that succeeds primarily in showcasing April Bennett's vocal prowess.

CDs by Wild & Blue

Restless, 2021

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