Puppet Show

Ally Venable Band

Connor Ray Music, 2018


REVIEW BY: David Bowling


The young Queen of the East Texas blues has returned with a new album, titled my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Puppet Show.

At the age of 19, Ally Venable is a seasoned veteran of the Texas blues scene. While in high school, she released several well-received blues albums, became a staple on the local blues club circuit, and her group has been named the East Texas Blues Band of the year three times.

Venable is a work in progress. Her voice is soulful and powerful; it has always been her strength. Her guitar ability and songwriting skills have improved considerably since her last release.

Her basic sound is modern electric blues, bordering on rock and roll at times. While she uses a seasoned second guitarist on two tracks, she is at her best when it is just her backing band of drummer Elijah Owings and bassist Bobby Wallace with an occasional keyboardist or harmonica player added for a fuller sound.

The album consists of eight original songs and two covers of classic blues songs. She has learned the craft of creating memorable melodies within a blues format. Songs such as "Bridges To Burn," "Cast Their Stones," "Sleeping Through The Storm," and "Puppet Show" are powerful guitar tunes, and when you combine them with incisive and insightful lyrics, they represent what the modern blues should be like. It is also interesting to hear her youthful take on "She Caught The Katy."

Venable is just at the beginning of her blues journey. Puppet Show is not only a fine introduction to her music but is a personal jumping off place as she hones her approach.

Rating: B

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