Disaster Relief and Thornetta Davis – “Queen of the Blues” – recently released two brand-new songs, “How I Feel” and “Not So Scared of You,” via Ravine Records.
Put together in 2018 by Darrin James, Disaster Relief is made up of Darrin James (guitar, organ, vocals), Brennan Andes (bass), Michael Shimmin (drums), Tim Haldeman (tenor sax), Dan Bennett (baritone sax), and Ross Huff (trumpet). The band’s sound reflects elements of funk, New Orleans, Motown, Memphis, and Afrobeats.
On her part, “Detroit’s Queen of the Blues,” Thornetta Davis, attracted interest as a back-up vocalist for Lamont Zodiac and The Love Signs, a Detroit soul band. After the lead singer dropped out, the band became known as The Chisel Brothers featuring Thornetta Davis.
Releasing her debut solo album, Sunday Morning Music, in 1996, via Sub Pop, the album garnered vast praise from Entertainment Weekly, while the album’s song “Cry” was highlighted on HBO’s The Sopranos.
Davis has shared the stage with Bonnie Raitt, Ray Charles, Gladys Knight, Smokey Robinson, Etta James, Buddy Guy, Koko Taylor, Junior Wells, Lonnie Brooks, and Johnnie Johnson, among others. She’s received 30 awards from the Detroit Music Awards, including Best R&B/Blues Vocalist.
In 2000, she, along with Kid Rock, performed at VH1’s Vogue fashion awards at Madison Square Garden, followed by appearing with Kid Rock on Jimmie Kimmel Live in 2006. The next year, 2007, she performed with Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band and appeared on The View and The David Letterman Show.
Thornetta Davis has wowed crowds around the world, touring to Italy, North Africa, Switzerland, France, Norway, Germany, Holland, England, and Canada.
“How I Feel” rolls out on blues-flavored funky guitars topped by braying brass as Thornetta’s rich, soulful tones imbue the lyrics with wicked flavors. A dazzling guitar solo injects the tune with electrifying wah-wah licks, while Thornetta’s rasping timbres galvanize.
“Not So Scared of You” opens on a cool drum shuffle flowing into a down-and-dirty funk rhythm oozing coloration from a drawling organ. Percolating horns offer delicious accents, showcasing Thornetta’s smoldering vocals. Chock-full of beaucoup luscious, slick washes of color, “Not So Scared of You” sizzles with atmosphere.
“How I Feel” and “Not So Scared of You” demonstrate the stellar musicianship of Disaster Relief and the swanky voice of Thornetta Davis.