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Queer Sisterhood is Powerful By:Gregg Shapiro Co-produced by Allison Zatarain and legendary songwriter/producer Richard Gottehrer, the 10-song vinyl LP Instant Love Volume 1 (Instant Records), is intended to celebrate “the power of love between women, mothers, sisters, friends, and lovers.” A reimagining of classic love songs by musical acts such as Billy Joel (“She’s Got A Way” sung by Lolo Zouai), The Beach Boys (“Don’t Worry Baby” done by Rachel Fannan) and The Kinks (“You Really Got Me” covered by Cavale). Highlights include Erika Spring (of Au Revoir Simone) performing “Colours” by Donovan, Holly Miranda’s reading of Leonard Cohen’s “I’m Your Man”, Irma Thomas’ rendition of “Crazy Love” by Van Morrison, Nicole Atkins singing “Amy” by Ryan Adams and jazz vocalist Karen Souza version of Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine”. Looking forward to volume two and others to follow. While we’re on the subject of cover tunes, the always brilliant lesbian singer/songwriter and bassist extraordinaire Meshell Ndegeocello, who paid tribute to Nina Simone on 2012’s Pour Une Âme Souveraine  and has been including covers on more recent albums, has just put out the cleverly titled Ventriloquism (All Points/Believe). Ndegeocello reimagines 11 songs, originally released between 1982 and 1994, in her own distinctive style, and the results are breathtaking. Some renditions stick closer to the originals than others, as in the case of

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Ndegeocello’s readings of Prince’s “Sometimes It Snows In April” (from 1986), Lisa Lisa & The Cult Jam feat. Full Force’s “I Wonder If I Take You Home” and Al B. Sure’s “Nite And Day” (both from 1988), and yet manage to maintain her distinctive style. Some of the most exciting moments occur on deconstructed versions of George Clinton’s “Atomic Dog” (from 1982), Ralph Tresvant’s “Sensitivity” (from 1990), Sade’s “Smooth Operator” (from 1984), Janet Jackson’s “Funny How Time Flies (When You’re Having Fun)”, and “Force MD’s “Tender Love”. Brava, diva! Is it too early in the year to begin assembling a “best of” list? If not, the Ndegeocello disc certainly qualifies. As does the devastating Rifles & Rosary Beads (In The Black/Thirty Tigers) by lesbian singer/songwriter Mary Gauthier. A product of Gauthier’s association with Darden Smith’s non-profit organization Songwriting With:Soldiers in which soldiers are teamed up with professional songwriters. For Gauthier’s album, she collaborated with male and female soldiers for a majority of the tracks. Two of the songs, including the devastating “The War After The War” were written by military wives whose soldier husbands returned from the battlefield wounded. Gauthier, who is a sort of queer Lucinda Williams, has a history of bringing listeners to tears (check out 2010’s The Foundling), but  Rifles & Rosary Beads takes that ability to a whole new level. Certain to earn queer musician Joan As

Profile for Peach Atlanta Magazine

Peach v2 i10 issuu  

Peach v2 i10

Peach v2 i10 issuu  

Peach v2 i10