When Meena Cryle sings the words " My mother told me every day I should be strong" on the opening track of her new CD, it becomes strikingly apparent that she must have taken those words to heart. "Whenever something in my life moves me, I sit down with my guitar and sing about it", she once explained in an interview with the magazine CONCERTO. All these emotions are transformed into music in an extraordinary and mature way on "Feel Me", her second album for the prestigious Ruf Records label. While her previous outing "Try Me" already held a wonderful promise for things yet to come, the current release presents itself as a true masterpiece.
From the tough as nails Blues-Rock of "Movin' On", which kicks off the album, to the classic Blues-Sounds of "Stay Away From Me Baby" and all the way through to the ballad that closes the album - "My Performance Is Over".
It is that very same musical universe that the entire album traverses. On one hand a rough and ready, uncompromising approach, as shown in her cover of the legendary Etta James' song "Come To Mama", and on the other hand a deeply empathetic, sometimes tender openess as shown in a song dedicated to the memory of her brother - "If I Meet You One More Time". Songs like the Desmond Child cover, "I Was Made For Loving You" - which also introduces the amazing horn section of the Hot Pants Road Club - or the title-track "Feel Me" showcase Meena's irresistable feel for Southern Soul, another facet of her artistry which sets her apart from most contemporaries. It is a seamless transition to the hard-sliding Blues of "Beg Like A Sinner" and the deep, dark groove of "Lord Have Mercy".
Meena Cryle's Roots-Cosmos is wide-ranging and electic but always deeply rooted in the Blues. This also shows in her songwriting, an indispensable part of a distinctive and unique musical identity. No less than ten of the twelve songs were penned by Meena...and her congenial musical partner Chris Fillmore. This exceptionally gifted guitar-player plays a far more important role for the overall musical concept than just being a supportive piece of the band's whole. He acts as a pivotal figure, an anchor which allows the singer to freely explore, and a safe-haven she can return to again. Cryle/Fillmore form a team that, in its intensity, is an exceptional and rare thing in today's Blues-scene - another aspect that pleasantly sets "Feel Me" far apart from the crowd. Her youth hasn't stopped Meena from travelling far down her very own path - Music is her true calling, she wholeheartedly states. "Feel Me" impressively proves her point!
1. Movin' On
2. I Was Made For Loving You
3. Stay Away From Me Baby