Courtesy of the artist
In "All Over Again," Alexis P. Suter applies defibrillator paddles to soulful blues-rock music.
In "All Over Again," Alexis P. Suter applies defibrillator paddles to soulful blues-rock music. Courtesy of the artist
Song: "All Over Again"
Artist: Alexis P. Suter Band
CD: Two Sides
Alexis P. Suter generally gets lumped into the blues category, but little about the Brooklyn-born singer is easy to categorize. The song most often associated with her, "Slam Me Baby," was a minor house-music hit in the '90s. This year, the prestigious Blues Music Awards nominated her in the "Soul Blues Female Artist" category, a testament to the way her music merrily straddles genres. Even her voice, a modern-day field holler, is so deep and guttural that you may initially think you're listening to a man.
"All Over Again," from Suter's fourth album Two Sides, may be the most exuberant example of the way she applies defibrillator paddles to vernacular music. Everything about the track feels alive, from the snarling rock guitars that announce its arrival to the hopped-up piano and backup singers that take it from there. Riding roughshod over it all is Suter, who's had it with that feckless cad in her life and wants him, through the gale-force winds of her voice, to know she means it this time. (And isn't it quaint to hear someone sing "crap" instead of something harsher?)
Both the song and performance transport you to that roadhouse juke joint you've always wanted to visit but never have. No wonder the likes of B.B. King and Levon Helm are Suter fans, with Suter playing at some of Helm's Ramble shows up in Woodstock, N.Y. Naturally, "All Over Again" wraps up with a galloping touch of Southern-rock guitars — and why not? Given the twists Suter and her band bring to time-honored American music traditions, we should expect no less.