Wild and Free
Lauren Anderson has traveled the country learning her craft. From a childhood in Chicago, to a music therapy degree in Kansas, to playing gigs across the South and making a home in Nashville, she has made her bones as a traveling blues singer. Won’t Stay Down is her fourth release, and it shows how she has combined her love of classic blues with a progressive sound incorporating pop and jazz hooks to build something new. The opening track, “Honey, Call Me Baby,” puts a spin on the classic love song by calling out the cat-callers who demean and diminish her talents as being just another pretty face. The opening riff feels like the Spencer Davis Group backing up a Stax singer in a Mississippi juke joint. “Too Little Too Late” is just what it sounds like – a ballad telling her lover that no matter how hard they try to fix things, it’s over. The title track brings in a funky groove, but the lyrics become a bit repetitive. “Cake” adds a bit of Latin flair with a lively drum beat and a horn section as she sings about having it all. The EP closes out with “Wild and Free,” which tells a good story, but loses me in the chorus as she stretches it out to “wuh-wuh-wuh-wuh-wild and free.”
Anderson will naturally draw comparisons to Melissa Etheridge and Bonnie Raitt, both justifiably so, but she also reminds me of Canadian singer Sass Jordan. Her vocal range is similar, and more importantly, she sounds like she is having a good time while singing these songs. The EP isn’t perfect, but it has intrigued me and I will be on the look out for more music from this talented artist. Won’t Stay Down releases July 26, 2019.