Alison Scott: Chinese Whispers

Alison Scott
Chinese Whispers
(Self-Released)

When you think of cities synonymous with soul music, places like Memphis and Philadelphia quickly come to mind. A surprising amount has sprung from Minneapolis, the home of up and coming soul singer Alison Scott . Chinese Whispers, Scott’s third independent release comes after working hard in the clubs and building a strong following, selling out local venues, and opening for touring acts. Scott has wisely partnered herself with Grammy-winning guitarist and producer Kevin Bowe, who anchors her strong backup band with drummer Pete Anderson and Steve Price on bass.

Scott boldly proclaims “My band and I are on a mission to write, play, and sing music with soul,” and this CD is proof positive they can do just that. Chinese Whispers shows that Scott and Bowe are not only songwriting disciples of Carole King and Burt Bacharach, but of Jimmy Jam and De La Soul as well. The CD starts out strong with the pure R&B burner “So Why,” followed by the retro soul house shaker “Smash and Grab.” Then Scott begins to channel Dionne Warwick with her throaty vocals on the fine soul pop tunes “Just For Us ,“ “Almost,” and the playful “When The Needle Hits The Groove.” The fresh take on the TLC hit “Waterfalls,” showcases the fantastic musicianship of this veteran quartet and some fly rapping from a northern girl. On “Rock Me Sweetly,” Scott plays it solo on piano and virtually bares her soul on this heartbreaking hymn that would do Aretha proud.

Chinese Whispers from Alison Scott presents an independent artist who came up in a healthy and supportive music scene who isn’t interested in playing to the latest trends but rather playing from the heart.