Known as one of Australia’s finest blues vocalists, Andrea Marr also dips into the wider roots repository of jazz, gospel, funk and soul.
Natural includes five Marr originals from 2012 EP Sass & Brass; ‘That’s Where Love Ends’ co-written with keyboardist Cam Scott. Scott and sax player Stuart Byrne share horn arrangement credits on newer tracks. Backed by two line-ups of Funky Hitmen, Marr seasons the rhythms as righteously here as on stage.
Opening track ‘Force of Nature’ offers the widest appeal but there’s plenty to come for the serious connoisseur. Aretha’s call-to-groove ‘Rock Steady’ is covered with due respect. Marva Whitney’s ‘What Do I Have To Do’ features Sean Rankin’s trumpet mastery bringing N’awlins-style chops into the Melbourne studio.
‘Sticks & Stones’ could be a soulful late night meeting of Gladys Knight with The Family Stone.
Given a time machine, this sassy front-woman would be claimed by Stax or Motown in a syncopated heartbeat.
Only Blues Music
Reviewed by Chris Lambie