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Blues Bytes February 2014

Niecie - Wanted Woman

"Wanted Woman"
Ride the Tiger Records

Niecie has traveled a long and winding road with her Blues. Born and raised in Detroit, Niecie was a fixture on Motown’s Blues scene for a number of years before hitting the road to Chicago, L.A., Boston and all points in between. She’s settled nicely into Nashville now and uses the Music City as her home base for all of her adventures to follow. She’s back in the mix with a new disc, Wanted Woman. Let’s see what she’s got.

She starts out with the “Traffic Light” and bemoans her fate at being unable to move in any direction. “Stuck here at this traffic light…I’m holding onto to this wheel to tight…spend too much time…waiting in line…stuck here at this traffic light.” Hopefully the traffic will ease up soon and Niecie will be on her way. Johnny Neel is displaying his wizardry on the B3 as Niecie tells us of her survival after the breakup of a relationship  in “You Wouldn’t Know It Now.”  “I don’t need you…hanging around…since you’ve been gone…this isn’t the same old house…you wouldn’t know it now.” The time to be crushed has passed and Niecie is moving confidently in a new direction with no regret in sight.

The title track, “Wanted Woman,” is up next and there’s a very solid back end to this tune from Daryl Burgess on drums and Dennis Gulley on bass as Niecie lets us know that everyone is after her. “I got a bounty on my head…oh, Lord…I’m scared to death…I’m a wanted woman.” Don’t know the crime, but if she’s caught Niecie definitely sounds like she will have to do the time.

“Crying for My Baby” finds Niecie lamenting her man leaving her behind. She’s eager to have him come back home and be next to her. “Crying for my baby…won’t you come back home…can’t live my life without you.” Johnny’s keyboard work on the B3 underscores Niecie’s desire to have her man return, and perhaps he will.

Blistering guitar work by Chris Anderson provides the intro for our next adventure, “Strange Way,” and here we find Niecie at a crossroads. “I know there’s something missing…I can feel it down in my bones…cause when I’m lying beside you…I feel so all alone…if this is love…you’ve got a strange way of showing it.” Her man isn’t paying the right attention to her and I’ve got a feeling that Niecie is about to make an executive decision to move on. We move on to “Blues Ain’t Nothin” and here we learn Niecie’s definition of the Blues. “The Blues ain’t nothin…you know the blues ain’t nothing…but a woman feeling bad.” Not exactly Son House’s definition, but close enough for Niecie’s purposes.

The band manages to slow the tempo down just a tad and Niecie segues into more of a ballad in “Just Can’t Walk Away.” “But they don’t scare me…half as much as that woman…she’s trying to take my man away…it’s a bad, bad feeling…I can’t shake…but I just can’t walk away.” Niecie’s dealing with a lot of pain in her life that the doctors just can’t help her with, unless they have the cure for this cheating woman who has her eye on Niecie’s man. Niecie’s running out of options and like it or not, this time she just might have to walk away.

The saucy “Typical Chick” is up next and I’m finding that Niecie is anything but “typical”. “I ain’t your typical chick…don’t waste my time…don’t give me no lip…I ain’t your typical chick.” I believe her on this one and you’ve got to love a woman with attitude. Another strong guitar intro presents us with Little Milton’s tune, “Mother Nature,” and Niecie’s in the process of tracking her man down. “I give you fair warning…every word I say is true…if you’ve got my man…turn him loose…if you know what’s good for you…don’t mess with Mother Nature…you’ll be sorry if you do.” I have the distinct feeling that it’s probably best to not mess with Niecie on this one.

The disc closes with a fairly funky tune in the form of “God’s Got This.” Niecie’s faith gets her through and she knows she’ll be fine. “God’s got this…and God’s got that…I guarantee you brother…he’s always got your back.” Amen to that.
I’ve got to admit it took awhile for me to warm to Niecie’s new disc, Wanted Woman, but I like it. Johnny Neel did an outstanding job of producing Niecie’s disc and surrounded her with a formidable array of some of Nashville’s finest players. You can find out more about this transplanted Tennessean on her website. I missed her performance at this year’s WIB showcase that was part of the IBC, but I will catch her next time.

--- Kyle Deibler

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