The Norman Transcript

N-town reviews

February 14, 2014

Music review: JJ Thames brings style, smolder

NORMAN — Musician: JJ Thames

Album name: Tell You What I Know

Why you should listen: JJ Thames can tell you a thing or two. The Motown native is from a home where GM paychecks allowed her to study classical and jazz music. Thames’ blues career began in earnest with her personal Great Migration reversed from Detroit to Jackson, Miss. She is a young, natural-born smoking hot blues diva breathing fresh life into an old genre.

Thames’ style includes an endearingly delicate vocal lilt that makes her sound like no one else. At the same time she boasts a mighty strength in her voice that comes from an irresistible super-feminine power base. In other words, girl got soul. Witness her core revelation on first track and Thames original composition “Souled Out.” It begins with gospel cadence and a promise to tell the story of chasing her dream. Cue the tambourine, choir back-up and palm percussion.

Thames fulfills her pledge in the remaining 10 songs, most of which she either wrote or collaborated on. “I Got What You Need” showcases Thames going from erotic smolder to full-on three-alarm blaze. Her “Hey Boy” holler would turn every male head from nine to 90 in most any room. “My Kinda Man” is probably about the kind of dependable father and husband Thames saw going off to the assembly line every day. “He’s a big old country boy who loves his mama and takes good care of me,” Thames sings with tender passion. But the vocal fervor just doesn’t stop. “No Turning Back” finds Thames taking her womanly growl to new levels. The title track is a thumb nail sketch telling the places this singing career has taken her so far. It doesn’t take a crystal ball to know Thames is going much farther.

Breaking news, severe weather alerts, AMBER alerts, sports scores from The Norman Transcript are available as text messages right to your phone or mobile device. You decide which type of alerts you want to receive. Find out more or to signup, click here.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
N-town reviews
  • Book review: Kidd delivers thought-provoking novel on slavery

    by Amber Hodge Book: The Invention of Wings (2014, Viking) Author: Sue Monk Kidd Why you should read: Kidd might be known for her worldwide hit “The Secret Life of Bees,” which released in 2002 and spent more than two years on the NY Times ...

    April 11, 2014

  • Book review: Philomena a sad, worthwhile read

    by Amber Hodge Book: The Lost Child of Philomena Lee (2009, Macmillan) Author: Martin Sixsmith Why you should read: Originally published in 2009, “Philomena” tells the true story of Michael Hess, who was a lawyer, and later deputy chief ...

    April 11, 2014

  • Music review: Johnny Drummer brings spark, swagger

    Musician: Johnny Drummer Album name: Bad Attitude Why you should listen: It’s probably reason enough to spin this record that producer Michael Frank wrote a thousand word introduction for the liner notes. The man who founded Earwig Music ...

    April 11, 2014

  • Music review: Helen Kelter Skelter offers psychedelic gem

    Musician: Helen Kelter Skelter Album name: Self-titled Why you should listen: Helen Kelter Skelter is a Norman band comprised of Eli Wimmer, Cody Clifton, Nathan Harwell, Jay Jamison and Tim Gregory. Their band’s name is a tongue twisting ...

    April 11, 2014

  • Book review: Anna Quindlen creates poetic narrative in Still Life with Bread Crumbs

    Book: Still Life with Bread Crumbs (2014, Random House) Author: Anna Quindlen Why you should read: It’s hard to find authors who have the kind of talent that brings life to inanimate objects. Fortunately, Anna Quindlen is one such writer ...

    March 14, 2014

  • Book review: Under the Never Sky a clever sci-fi

    Book: Under the Never Sky (2012, HarperCollins) Author: Veronica Rossi Why you should read: “Under the Never Sky” is a clever young adult novel built around a distopian future akin to “The Hunger Games” or the “Divergent” series....

    March 14, 2014

  • Music review: Goodnight Moonshine offers fresh sound

    Musician: Molly Venter and Eben Pariser Album name: Goodnight Moonshine Why you should listen: It’s the rare 21st century professional musician who has just one project. Molly Venter and Eben Pariser are no exceptions. Venter played here ...

    March 14, 2014

  • Music review: Eddie Ate Dynamite is explosive, twisted listen

    Musician: Jason Vivone and the Billy Bats Album name: Eddie Ate Dynamite Why you should listen: All you have to do is glance at this album’s cover art to know it’s going to be a twisted listen. A stick of high explosive in a hot dog bun on ...

    March 14, 2014

  • Book review: Rainbow Rowell paints perfect love story

    Book: Eleanor & Park (2013, St. Martin’s Press) Author: Rainbow Rowell Why you should read: After 11 weeks of gracing the NY Times Best Seller list for young adult novels, “Eleanor & Park” currently rests at No. 8 on the charts. With its ...

    February 14, 2014

  • Book review: JJ Abrams creates literary masterpiece

    Book: S. (2013, Little, Brown & Company) Authors: J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst Why you should read: Created from the mind of J.J. Abrams, producer of hit films and television shows such as “Lost,” “Star Trek Into Darkness” and “Mission: ...

    February 14, 2014