100 Proof Woman
(Garden Mound, 2007)

Petrella has something special on this CD. Instead of the Tina Turner/Aretha Franklin/Dolly Parton styles she showed us in Dreams of the Heartland, she's all Petrella in 100 Proof Woman, as her opening song attests. Even though she's mainly singing covers, she's put her own style on every song.

The First Lady of Country Soul, as she has been called, is the right handle for her type of music. The songs and style she shares are county, soul and country-soul. Her voice is deep, earthy, dripping with character that fills every song with pure Petrella, without apology.

For variety, she explores many moods of a woman. "All My Heroes Play Guitar," expresses her love for country music. The other songs are also love songs. They sound new because of the raspy soulfulness inherent in her voice. Petrella works magic on "All I Ever Need is You" and "The Glory of Love." She fills "Sick & Tired" with piss and vinegar. The band helps turn it into a great raunch 'n' roll song.

This CD leans more heavily into the country range, though it's difficult to pinpoint her category because she's bringing a lot of soul into the songs, too. It's to her credit that she makes everything she sings sound like her own music. With her heavy but melodic voice and the great music backing her up, she's a powerhouse of versatile country music.

Anybody who dreams in country will enjoy the sound of this CD.

[ visit the artist's website ]

review by
Virginia MacIsaac

11 October 2008

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