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Vanguard: Queen Esther - Talkin Fishbowl Blues
By Gary Schwind

This album incorporates sounds of roots, blues (“So Real”), gospel (“Help Me”) and country.  The one thing that comes through in every song is the power and soul in Queen Esther’s voice.  Some record executives may disagree with my assessment about the power of her voice because Queen Esther doesn’t belt out songs like Christina Aguilera.  But never mind the record executives.  Thank goodness she’s not like Christina Aguilera.  Rather, the power of Queen Esther’s voice is in the soulful way she delivers her songs.  She doesn’t need to over-emote like some singers because there is so much soul in her voice that you’ll feel what she’s singing.  The greatest example of this is in her cover of Tammy Wynette’s “Stand By Your Man.”  I’m not kidding when I say the song gave me chills.  It is a knockout and it alone makes this album worth having.

It’s a pretty safe bet that Queen Esther was influenced by some other classic artists beside Tammy Wynette.  Talkin Fishbowl Blues begins with “Promise Me” in which Queen Esther’s voice sounds pretty similar to Joni Mitchell.  And the guitar in the title track sounds a lot like the Rolling Stones.

Overall, this is a really solid effort.  There were a couple songs (“Love” and “So Real”) that didn’t quite grab me like the rest of the songs did.  But that voice overcomes a lot.  If Queen Esther were an athlete, she’d be called a “throwback” and rightly so.  She sings with the kind of soul you don’t hear much anymore.  And she doesn’t need some record executive to help her manufacture it.    

CD Info 

Queen Esther - Talkin Fishbowl Blues
1. Promise Me
2. Shine
3. Talkin' Fishbowl Blues
4. Taster's Choice
5. Love
6. So Real
7. New York City
8. Leave Me Alone
9. Get It Right This Time
10. The Way of the World
11. Help Me
12. Stand By Your Man
Listen to samples and Purchase this CD online

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