Can you believe it? Donna Angelle’s last album, Guaranteed Lover, was released 11 years ago (2008) before the zydeco diva experienced one of those “life happens” events. Despite being musically active since then, the good news is she’s back on track with her best album yet featuring nine originals and one cover, Betty Wright’s “Clean Up Woman.” With venerable producer Michael Lockett twisting the dials, Angelle took a meticulous two years to complete her sixth disc while never feeling rushed or pressured by the clock.
As the title and artwork suggest, Angelle will always be a Creole country girl, steeped in trail rides, dancing and celebrating life. Of the tunes related to this rural sub-theme, the euphemistic, bilingually-sung “Chicken in my Yard” is the most jovial as she vows to hunt down that intruding chicken laying eggs in her domain.
Also a fun one is “Everybody,” an instant dance floor filler. Drummer Robbie Melancon assures Angelle she can easily step into the band’s emerging groove and when she does, the whole affair really takes off.
R&B remains an essential component of Angelle’s musical DNA; it’s the best stylistic vehicle for her to sink her teeth into— just listen to the grittiness of a song like “Groove Me All Night Long.” She’s also well-suited for gospel, as evidenced by the moving “Satan We Gonna Tear Your Kingdom Down” that’s embellished by Paul Wiltz’s supporting sax lines and a child crying “Mommy, daddy” to symbolize absentee parents. This time out, Angelle has testified.