Deborah Coleman Soft Place To Fall (Blind Pig)

Soft Place To Fall (Blind Pig)

Record Reviews

Deborah Coleman

Soft Place To Fall (Blind Pig)

Deborah Coleman might not be what Muddy Waters had in mind when he rewrote Bo Diddley's swaggering tribute to him, "I'm a Man," into "Mannish Boy," but ol' McKinley Morganfield would've had this beautiful blueswoman sitting on his knee quicker than Van the Man could whistle "Baby Please Don't Go" upon hearing the Virginia-born guitarist's own Ellas McDaniel rewrite, "I'm a Woman." Cosmopolitan and uptown rather than gritty and lowdown, Coleman's sexy reading of "I'm a Woman" defines today's middle-class female bluesicians as what they are: distinctly Triple-A radio. Produced by veteran FM hit man Jim Gaines (Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughan), Soft Place To Fall may be short on solos, but it's rich in tone, in such a way that on opener "Look What You Do to Me," with its sultry Stax strut, one can almost taste the wood of Coleman's Telecaster. Hamstein songwriter Jerry Lynn Williams' "Nothin' to Do With Love," meanwhile, is pure Miller Lite-era "After Midnight." Grounded by less original material than found on her sturdy one-two punch for blues indie Blind Pig, 1997's I Can't Lose and '98's Where Blue Begins, Coleman's fourth full-length is nevertheless at its best on her well-oiled title track (Mark Knopfler meets Eric Johnson) and smoky "Another Hoping Fool" (vintage Robert Cray circa Strong Persuader). A Soft Place to Fall -- come rest your head, Muddy.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Guy Forsyth & Jeska Bailey
Conspirators (Record Review)

Reid Jowers, Sept. 27, 2019

Texas Platters
The Texas Horns
Get Here Quick (Record Review)

Jay Trachtenberg, Sept. 20, 2019

More by Raoul Hernandez
Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Swallow the Sun, Benny the Butcher, Every Time I Die, Buck Meek, and more recommended shows

Nov. 19, 2021

Alejandro Escovedo Album Review
Alejandro Escovedo Album Review
La Cruzada (Yep Roc)

Nov. 19, 2021

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle