Four Stars for Music!Music!Music!, the new release from Charlie Hunter & Lucy Woodward

Charlie Hunter & Lucy Woodward
Music! Music! Music!
Out now

Rating: 4 Stars

By Tim De Lisle for Event magazine

On Rod Stewart’s summer tour there is something missing: Lucy Woodward, one of his favourite backing vocalists. Woodward, who also sings with Holly Palmer’s band The Goods, has star quality.

One minute she’s radiating joie de vivre, the next she’s expressing deep pain – and hinting that that could be fun too.

For her fifth album, Woodward teams up with the jazz-funk guitarist Charlie Hunter, who’s worked with Norah Jones among many others. Jazz-funk went out of fashion about 30 years ago, but if anyone can change that, it’s these two.

Hunter performs like a man with six hands, playing rhythm, lead and bass at the same time, while also knowing how to use silence.

Woodward is half-English, half-American and wholly fearless. Here she tackles not one Nina Simone song but three, including the classic “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.”

She mixes blues legends (Bessie Smith, Blind Willie Johnson) with modern mavericks such as Lucinda Williams and Terence Trent D’Arby, whose 1987 hit “Wishing Well” comes up smouldering.

The whole album glows with feeling. If it leaves you itching to see Woodward and Hunter in the flesh, you can – at Ronnie Scott’s in London on June 16.

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