Rita Coolidge — Live in London ****

BOON was lucky to catch the Delta Lady herself Rita Coolidge in the middle of her residency at the Boisdale food/music venue at London’s Canary Wharf.

Backed by her excellent West Coast outfit of guitar, keyboards, bass and drums, Coolidge glided effortlessly through a 75-minute 16-track set of pure class.

In the UK to promote her new album, she is back to her Americana roots with Safe In The Arms Of Time.

Opening with the Kris Kristofferson cover Late Again (Gettin’ Over You) you sensed you were in the presence of greatness. No frills, superb vocals delivered in a relaxed style gained from decades at the top of her trade.

Performing several tracks from the latest album which is more bluesy than you might expect, she featured Satisfied, Doin’ Fine Without You, Van Gogh and both of the Keb’ Mo’ collaborations on the album, the country rock inspired Naked All Night and Walking on Water.

She played enough of the new album for you to know that it is well worth checking out. The audience had come to hear the classics and she didn’t disappoint.

Superstar was the first, and halfway through the set came the classic Boz Scaggs’ number We’re All Alone which Coolidge made her own with a smash hit in 1977.

Next a rendition of Born Under A Bad Sign, showing she is as at home with the blues as she is with country or ballad. She stepped it up with a medley of Fever, The Way You Do The Things You Do and How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) complete with the James Taylor guitar lick.

The Jackie Wilson cover (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher closed the main set and the great lady returned for the encore ballad of I’d Rather Leave While I’m In Love and wound it up with the country boogie Lover Please.

Rita please come back soon. It was an honour hearing you.

Words and Live Photos by Chaz Brooks

 

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