John’s Blues Picks June 2015 – Romi Mayes “Devil on Both Shoulders”
Maple Blues June 2015 – Vol. 31 No. 6
Romi Mayes “Devil on Both Shoulders” (Outside) | romimayes.com
Romi Mayes is a Winnipeg-based singer/songwriter/guitarist whose work is usually filed in country, although her roots style could easily place her anywhere. This album, her sixth, is particularly bluesy. She has won many awards for her song writing and has been nominated for a JUNO and I think you’ll agree that this new batch will be equally successful. The leadoff song is the title song and it’s a rocker about refusing to conform or to grow up as one grows older. Producer Grant Siemens doubles on all the guitars along with Marc Arnold on keyboards and the rhythm section of Bernie Thiessen on bass and Damon Mitchell on drums and they smoke on this one. It’s also a video available at her web site. “(She Makes A) Monkey of a Man” is an insightful character study of a certain kind of woman. “Bee Sting” is a slide-driven plea for her man to come back home. “Wonder How” is another highlight, with duelling slides on a song that doesn’t have many nice things to say about a partner. “Walk Away” is a lovely, piano-driven ballad about leaving.
All of these are songs about the usual subject matter of the blues but seldom are they this well written or performed. I suspect this disc will add to her award collection. She was here in late May with a band that included Jimmy Bowskill on lead guitar, let’s hope she comes back soon.