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  JOANNA DEAN
'Misbehavin''
(Yesterrock)
Release Date: 27th July 2012


Phil Kane

phil kane

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joanna dean misbehavin

Do you remember Janis' Mercedes Benz? Yes? Well hold that thought for a moment.

If Georgia born Joanna Dean ever showed up at the bar down here in the hole she would not need to buy a drink all night. Possessing a voice that runs in the same pack as Sass Jordan, Janis Joplin and Maggie Bell this southern belle would have the good ol' boys tripping over themselves for some of her brand of man mistreatment and barroom bad behaviour and here the rest of you now have the reason why.

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'Misbehavin'' was originally released in 1988 to much acclaim. Her only solo album, it even got the thumbs up from MTV. It should have shot her straight from the roadhouses of obscurity to the city halls of success but it didn't and until 27th July this year, this gem of an album had become a bit of a lost obscurity.

Overall 'Misbehavin'' is a chunk of good ol' southern rock that's been Metalized just a bit after being tempered in the blues. Dean had a voice you could dig a trench with. A smokey whiskey stained rasp that promised you a good kicking if you upset her or a hell of a ride if you didn't, this lady was a blues belter of extraordinary talent. The album is not gonna win a Nobel Prize for putting originality back into rock music but that is not the point here.

The whole album is a bit of a southern beauty and there are at least three standout tracks, namely 'She's Been Hearing About Me', 'Burning Rubber' and the magnificent 'Kiss This'. They are doses of driving southern hard rock that would not disgrace any in car stereo but with no ballads there really is not a bad track on here.

There is one caveat; the cover of 'Gimme Shelter' is a bit suspect; at best a piece for an encore, here it is misplaced and in view of the quality of her own material, a bit unnecessary but at least it tries to fit (and as covers of 'Gimme Shelter' go, Thunder's version takes some beating).

And as for Janis? This crisply remastered rerelease gives us no add ons or extras; it's the original track list only. In view of the fact that 'Misbehavin'' is a bit of a gem that most fans of this type of southern rock will already know of, if not own, it would have been nice to have a few bonus tracks.

Joanna Dean has a voice that can hold its own against the best in the business and I'm sure she would have left a few tasty bits n' bobs on the edit room floor; something along the lines of 'Mercedes Benz' would have been most welcome.

I have no idea what Joanna Dean is doing now. Since her last recorded contribution to rock music was back in 1990 with her 'Code Of Honor' album, the suspicion is she had no further dealings with the industry. That's a shame because her voice had the makings of something special. All she lacked was song quality to match.

Despite the lack of added value incentives 'Misbehavin'' remains one of the great female fronted solo southern rock albums and this is a most welcome reissue.

24.7.12


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