Lula Reed – Blue and Moody (1958)

I haven’t met a Lula Reed song I don’t like, and that includes every track on her 1958 album, Blue and Moody, released on King Records, a fantastic and famous label formerly based in Cincinnati. Each song on the record, each performance, is solid in its simple beauty, with Lula’s heartfelt vocals hovering sweetly over bluesy backing tracks. Her voice is the real stand out here. The star of the show.

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Reed was on track for stardom in the early 50s — her version of Drown in My Own Tears came out before Ray Charles’ cut, and hit #5 on the Billboard charts. Little Willie John also recorded one of Reed’s songs, but by the time she released this album of her previously recorded songs, her career was already in decline, and who knows why.

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Lula’s voice isn’t your typical female blues singer’s voice, and maybe that’s why her career was abbreviated. But her fans appreciate the difference she brought to the genre, a sweet blues singer with a gentle voice, ready to ease your aching heart with her personal take on the blues.

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Dacia lives in Austin, Texas, where she writes, drinks & listens to records.

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