9:04am

Sat June 14, 2014
marc on the blues

Yes, 'She’s So Unusual,' But Cyndi Lauper Can Sing The Blues

With the release of her 2010 album Memphis Blues, Cyndi Lauper put to rest once and for all her reputation as a novelty act. The first major sign most people got that Cyndi had far more to offer than “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” was “Time After Time.”

Ever since, more and more people figured out that she is a musical force to be reckoned with. Now it’s the turn of Blues fans.

I suppose the creation of Memphis Blues was inevitable since her live shows have included some great Blues oriented material and she’s always proven worthy. I’m not the only one who thinks so. Among the top Blues artists who think her worthy enough to join her on the album are Charlie Musselwhite, Allen Toussaint, Jonny Lang, Ann Peebles and B. B. King.

Lauper’s dedication indicates her very real respect for the Blues greats of the past: “This album is dedicated to Ma Rainey, mother of the Blues, thanks for her work and style, and to all the early Blues artists who traveled through the cross roads, suitcase in hand, to Memphis. Their music and spirit can still be felt today…much respect.”

Whether it’s the lighthearted tongue-in-cheek Early in the Morning, her poignant rendition of Allen Toussaint’s "Shattered Dreams," the tender "Romance in the Dark" or any of her quite respectful versions of several styles of Blues, like Muddy Waters’ "Rollin’ and Tumblin’" or Robert Johnson’s "Crossroads," Cyndi Lauper proves on Memphis Blues that she truly deserves to be called a Blues artist.

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