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Angela Strehli: Deja Blues

Singer Angela Strehli has the kind of gutsy, aggressive delivery that commands your attention. She’s got personality with a capital ‘P’ and that rhymes with ‘T’ and that stands for Texas. On her latest, D ja Blues (House Of Blues 51416 1399 2; 40:03) the Austin diva sizzles and soars on some tough Texas bar band fare like the rowdy shuffle “Cut You Loose” and the roadhouse rave-up “Boogie Like You Wanna.” She gets sassy on the funky “Still a Fool,” with a little help from her Austin friends Lou Ann Barton and Marcia Ball, and gets nasty on “Hey, Miss Tonya,” a personal attack on her own pet dog. But there’s a gentler side to this wildcat, as she demonstrates on the moving hymn “A Man I Can Love” and her gospel flavored duet with dobro ace Steve James on “When the Sun Never Goes Down.” Her overdubbed duet on Jimmy Reed’s “Close Together” is right on the money and she conjures up a smoldering Al Green vibe on “Stand By Your Woman, Man.” Another highlight on this soul-driving collection is her torchy duet with Doug Sahm on Tarheel Slim’s “Too Late.”

Originally Published