This fifth studio album by singer Tami Neilson – born in Toronto, she currently resides in Auckland, New Zealand – is probably her best since her debut in 2008. No small feat considering that Dynamite!, released in 2014, earned rave reviews and several awards. The song “Call Your Mama”, reminiscent of Etta James, is a perfect lead-in. To produce this album, the guitarist-singer combined her favourite musical genres: country (“16 Miles of Chain”), rockabilly (“Tell Me That You Love Me”, “Hey, Bus Driver!”) and rhythm & blues (the colourful “Ten Tonne Truck”). One could say that Tami Neilson is a force of nature, half Patsy Cline, half Wanda Jackson. She even has a bit of Amy Winehouse in her soul-inflected voice (the heart-rending “You Were Mine”). She also radiates the bluesy gospel of Chicago singer Mavis Staples (the vitamin-packed “Sister Mavis” couldn’t be more eloquent). On Chickaboom!, Neilson’s powerful voice blends with generous music bearing the colours of the ’50s and ’60s. At 43 years of age, this singer-songwriter confirms all her talent with this joyful and exciting album. What’s more, she knows how to tell her stories with brio.
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