It's ironic that female blues singers were first to establish successful recording careers, with Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey and others in the early 1920s.
They preceded their male counterparts like Blind Lemon Jefferson, Charley Patton and later Robert Johnson.
However, from around 1930 on it's difficult to note more than a handful of female blues singers who became prominent.
The good news is that there's a lady from Auckland, New Zealand, who is leading a one person mission to revive this beguiling music genre that's almost a century old.
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In Old Haunts Coco Davis channels the music of the classic blues ladies, and in settings that are mostly spare but always inspired. Bessie Smith songs include Cemetery Blues, Devil's Gonna Get You, In My Girlish Days and 'Lectric Chair, all delivered with bucket-loads of sass and style.
Memphis Minnie provides Coco with a superb work-out on I'd Rather See Him Dead, while the final track is a stunning version of Ma Rainey's See See Rider.
Tom Rodwell's arrangements and production create a unique soundscape, led by his own contributions on electric and acoustic guitars, Art Terry's on piano while Damian Horner-Pausma's touches on percussion help deliver the retro atmosphere.
Each track on Old Haunts has been created as a standalone gem, with no risk of sameness and a seemingly effortless approach.
Coco is well known in Auckland Theatre circles, hopefully Old Haunts will spread the word outside the City of Sails. She sure deserves it.