Cyndi Lauper's BluesCyndi Lauper dropped by the Howard Stern show this morning to promote her brand new album, Memphis Blues, a collection of old standard blues songs. She brought with her a collection of ace musicians, including hotshot blues guitarist Jonny Lang, and jammed a very credible version of “Crossroads.”
I use the word “credible” because Delta blues isn’t really the first thing that comes to mind when you think Cyndi Lauper. Like it’s hard to picture B.B. King doing “She Bop.” It just don’t fit. But like Cyndi told Howard, her music is based in the blues anyway. Which, technically, I suppose it all is. So, if you can ignore Cyndi’s Queens accent that leaks through at times, you can say she has done a credible job on her Memphis Blues album.
Along with Lang, Memphis Blues also has guest appearances from legends such as Allen Toussaint, Charlie Musselwhite, and the aforementioned Mr. King himself. She recorded the disk in Memphis, where she says they played a lot of it live: “It was a very big priority that we walk in and play live,” she told Yahoo news. “This album was all about the moment and what happens when the groove is exact and the key is right.”
Memphis Blues isn’t Pearl, but it’s an interesting and, yes, credible, homage to the genre by an artist you maybe wouldn’t have expected to go that way.
*edited for error corrections...