"A Real Good Woman" is the true story told Blues by Blues singer and songwriter Sheba The Mississippi Queen. Born in 1953, her life began in the cotton fields of Mississippi; this 13 track album takes the listeners on a journey from there and then to her current life as a performing and recording artist and spiritual teacher.
Sheba's rich story telling lyrics covers black history and culture in the South, her life onstage and in the studio singing the blues, and her time in Atlanta and New York City as a "working girl."
"'A Real Good Woman,' the story of the birth of the blues in the heart and soul of a real good woman." - Rev. Prentiss John Davis, Unity of Ocala
"Raw, honest, heart-breaking. Here is an open and honest account of the struggles of an African-American woman and what she went through to escape the cotton fields of Sunflower, Mississippi in the '60s to become the spiritual woman she is today." - Shirley Long, Unity of Ocala, Administrative Assistant to Senior Minister
October 30, 2017
Belvidere, New Jersey
Album Review by The Grouch
(from Sweden, now in The Rockies)
The other day the good people at Bongo Boy asked me to give a listen to, and share my thoughts regarding a new album from Sheba The Mississippi Queen. In total honesty, I could not remember if I had ever heard of Sheba The Mississippi Queen, but I have heard (It was one of the first songs I learned to play on the drums) the song Mississippi Queen by Mountain. If Sheba rocks with anything close to the intensity of Leslie West and his band, I am sure I will dig this album immensely. The title of the album is: A Real Good Woman and the release date is November 1, 2017.
1. Oh So Good 3:12 - YES! I love this stuff. This, folks, is the fire that spread to Chicago and burnt down the city. It wasn't Mrs. O'Leary's cow that started the fire; it was the Mississippi blues that migrated north. I am in musical heaven - what a voice!! What lightning from the band. They are blistering really. Fantastic work.
2. Pourin' Rain 4:08 - So heavy, so gritty, so thundering, I LOVE IT. The horns remind me of Motown, and having been raised in the Motor City I cannot help but to be influenced by the magic Berry Gordy was making on West Grand. This song has a huge Motown vibe that leads straight back to Mississippi.
3. Big Man 4:03 - Man, track three and my mind is already blown. If the hypnotic groove doesn't infect you, then the vocals surely will. Man, you can just feel the power of the notes. Good God, Sheba has a killer voice. I want to party with the Queen.
4. Real Good Woman 6:22 - This is a traditional story telling blues jam that can easily be extended indefinitely. Sheba tells us that she is armed and dangerous and that her problem is she just cannot find a good man. I am enjoying listening to the qualities she considers necessary to be classified as a good man. Of course, as nice as the vocals are, it is also nice to hear that Sheba has a collection of Monsters who all have her back. This band is comprised of monster players and they do not turn the intensity down for a moment. Oh, the volume may fluctuate, but the intensity is at a constant 11.
5. Ms. Good-n-Plenty 3:32 - Sheba is rather proudly sharing some very intimate details of her relationship with her domestic partner. (Trying to keep the description clean as I do not know exactly where this review will end up, but it could be noted that Sheba has an exceptional level of stamina is rather adventurous.) Oh yeah, and the music was really good too 😊
6. Butter on My Rolls 3:47 - I just love this stuff. It is so grinding and primal. The blues is such an emotional powerhouse. Sheba is considering obtaining the services of a Witch Doctor because her rolls are not receiving enough butter from her current cohabitant.
7. Tell Me Why 5:44 - Ahhh yes, funky bass with a groovy drummer set the tone while the guitar blasts in and out and the keys make a statement off to the side. I love this song. Sheba's voice belts out stunningly powerful notes and the band continues to jam. The drummer is getting a work-out. I hear some very nice, thundering fills. The piano is mesmerizing. He just pops in and out from the side and instantly has my attention. I must see this band live!
8. Dance Jump Shout 3:17 - Fast tempo with horns and guitars all making statements while the rhythm section lays down a very quick, very intense rhythm. The guitar can't take it anymore and busts out into a massive jam. Sheba comes back in with some commanding vocals and the guitar is right there at the end of each phrase, ready to shoot a bolt of lightning. WOW!
9. Good Good Lovin 6:01 - Sheba is back, talking about Rocking and Rolling and Riding a Pony…as the title suggests Sheba wants some good good lovin'. Musically, all the elements of classic blues are here. The jamming band, complete with horns and keys, a guitar player that can throw lightning bolts whenever he wants to, and a rhythm section than is totally locked in. Listen to these lyrics! It just hit me Sheba is a black female David Lee Roth.
10. Hey Girlfriend 5:02 - I like the beat the drummer lays down in the beginning of the song and how everyone else comes in and picks up the groove. This is a very intense song, in many ways. On one level, Sheba is telling a woman that she has been spending time with the other woman's man. Musically, the song is incredibly intense. Each member is in full-on jam mode. The drummer is filling while the bass player is running a funky pattern and the keys jam and the guitar gets funky which accentuates the horns. Overall, this song is a massive BLAST of energy.
11. Blues of My Soul 7:05 - This is Sheba's coming out of Mississippi track. She heard some very nice slide work after she left Mississippi and was instantly emotionally brought back to life on the Delta. She spent a lot of time picking cotton, which is an incredibly physically devastating activity. The one respite was listening to Mr. John playing his slide guitar off on the porch. The refrain becomes that "My Grandma would say (the bus is) goin' my way, but it ain't my day." One night, Sheba's mother made her escape. Eventually, her mother did return for her and the family headed for Florida.
12. Don't Say Goodbye 5:54 - This is simply a beautiful song. Sheba is singing about someone she loves going away. Sheba has the ability to vocally express sadness extremely well. I am enjoying the music, I mean they are all playing well, and it grooves, but Sheba's vocals and her sadness have me. This is perhaps the most powerful song on the album.
13. Can't Help Lovin' My Man 6:14 - In this song it seems that Sheba has indeed found a man to love and love him she does. Musically this song is on par with the last track. What I thought was a successful conclusion to an emotion-filled body of work, is in fact only a partially happy ending. You see, Sheba is in love with a fellow, but he goes away, and she is not really sure that he loves her. She spends her time at home sitting by the phone waiting for him to call. She knows that he loves her, but if he does not, she does not care. She cannot help loving her man.
So, what is the bottom line: The bottom line is this. Sheba has had an arduous life. She also has an incredible voice which she uses to sing about events and emotions she has felt at different points of her life. Fortunately, she has found a group of musicians with whom she blends. Each of the players on this album is very good. This comes across as a very cohesive unit of highly talented people who make very powerful music. This album is more than worth the purchase price.
I give Sheba's album A Real Good Woman 5 out of 5 scowls on the Grouch scale. - The Grouch
Available at Bongo Boy Records: https://bongoboyrecords.com/sheba/
Also available starting this November at cdbaby, iTunes, Amazon, Walmart and other online retailers and retail outlets Worldwide.