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Metro Times 2004

Niecie - Peace Of My Mind

Independent Records/Signature Records

With a lineup like the who’s who names listed on this CD, not to mention a crackerjack recording team and facility based in Nashville, it would have been a crime for Niecie – or anyone else – to have missed the mark. That’s not taking anything away from Niecie. Knowing what you want, then having the ear and the good sense – and the resources - to know who to call to make it happen, is the sign of a smart and fortunate musician. Believe me when I say there’s considerably more talent out there than there is good sense and vision, and resources have always been in short supply.

This was a CD that was a long time coming, but boy does the effort and patience ever shine through. Although there are none of Niecie’s original tunes on the release, which is unfortunate, the fact remains that each of the ten cuts has been spit-shine polished. The production and overall sound is great, and the choice of songs, which cuts across a fairly wide variety of blues genres, keeps it all from being boring.

As for the supporting cast, it doesn’t get much better. Among the large number of listed musicians used to record the CD are such luminaries as guitar slinger Larry McCray, who cuts up on three tracks, and Willie Weeks, a top flight session bass player. There’s also Shane Theriot and Mike Durham used on various other guitar tracks, Johnny Neel on all keyboard tracks, Nioshi Jackson on drums, Chris Kent on some bass parts, and a powerful horn section. Niecie, of course, does all vocals.

The primary weakness of “Peace of My Mind” is, as I mentioned, the absence of original tunes, although the well thought-out arrangements somewhat compensate for this. Niecie’s vocals have never sounded better.

This is one of the top local blues CDs to come out this year.

Keith Owens

MetroTimes September 2004

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