Queen Esther is one of those singers that should be heard by everybody everywhere. Seriously, she should be booked on Mountain Stage, guest singing with The Roots on Jimmy Fallon, have a cameo singing in the Bluebird Café on Nashville and performing on every other tv and radio show that features music. If nothing else, there should be more than just my blog sharing her sound on Hype Machine since 2007. Sigh. Hopefully the long-awaited release of her new “Black Americana” album, The Other Side, will wake more people up to her talent. That voice with that music? Just too good. To prove my point, here’s her new lyric video:
Queen Esther is in the process of recording what she calls her “Black Americana” album and is asking fans to help fund the project via Kickstarter. She only has 4 days left to raise $13,213. Please donate if you can. If her cover of “I Feel Like Going Home” (which you can stream at the link below) is any indication, this is going to be an extraordinary and superb album. It’s the most moving cover of the song I’ve heard since the Inner Voices Choir sang it on My So-Called Life.
Queen Esther is a singer-songwriter and performance artist who describes her own music as “Black Americana”. I suppose that’s as accurate as any description could be, though it may over simply her sundry sound. There is definitely a rootsy twang to her debut album Talkin’ Fishbowl Blues, but more often her vocals and guitar hint at Southern rock, blues, and soul.
Tracks like “Promise Me”, “Talkin’ Fishbowl Blues”, and “New York City” vibrate and hum on blues guitar and Esther’s rich voice, which effortlessly flows from a deep throaty tone up into a pretty semi-yodel. “Shine” floats a little lighter on a country-pop rhythm, while “Taster’s Choice” is a swaying lap steel soul ballad.
“So Real” is a catchy one, with a staccato drum beat beneath searing blues guitar and bass. It reminds me a little of Laura Love. “The Way Of The World” is another attention grabber, stirring the sweet notes of a flute into a funky riff.
Queen Esther gives a lovely a capella vocal performance on “Help Me”, before closing the album with a stripped down rendition of Tammy Wynette’s “Stand By Your Man”.