Here’s a debut CD by a rough and ready newcomer to the California blues scene. Michele Lundeen
is the first-place winner of the San Diego Blues Challenge
and is locally dubbed The Queen Of Steam
. Her brand of blues is an absolute gumbo of styles that the singer performs confidently.
The fresh new CD is aptly titled Song In Me
and Lundeen settles in with unflinching enthusiasm and proceeds to bare her soul. The steamy songstress lists her influences as Little Richard, Aretha Franklin, James Brown and Tina Turner. Most listeners will notice a touch of Janis Joplin’s abundant exuberance and soul. Lundeen is capable of moving from the role of a classic blues shouter
to a subdued sultry seductress in the wink of an eye. That unique talent is quite apparent in her song "Qualify My Love."
The young singer is a most talented writer. While there are a couple of pieces by other writers on this album, Lundeen penned most of the songs herself. Several stand out to the most critical ear. This writer fell for a few of them immediately. "No Money," "No Honey," "Free At Last," "All Day Blues" all illustrate the point. The title piece "Song Inside Me" is the icing on the cake.
The band must be mentioned in glowing terms. Her root unit of Vernazza, Delone, Evans and Silva is consistently great and soloists like Ed Early, Sue Palmer and Roy Rogers turn this session into a party. It’s good blues!
Is there stardom in Michele Lundeen’s future? Frankly, she has a full set of keys. She needs only to find the right door. This writer’s only wish is that Southern California will eventually be too small for both Janiva Magness
and Michele Lundeen
and one of them will move north where I can hear them.