Eliza Neals: 10,000 Feet Below Review

10,000 Feet Below is the latest album from Detroit singer Eliza Neals and her guitar-toting consigliere Howard Glazer, and finds the pair harnessing an array of guest musicians in sessions spanning numerous studios but still producing a coherent collection of songs.

Opener “Cleotous” is an acoustic twanger with a field holler feel to warm things up, but most of what follows has a more modern blues rock vibe. Neals’ vocal delivery is strong throughout, as one might expect of someone operatically trained, demonstrating a good range and good phrasing. The following “Another Lifetime” is slow, smouldering and typically atmospheric, while “Burn The Tent Down” has a strutting rhythm and vocal to match, bolstered by a crunching, meaty guitar riff and a satisfying, wailing solo from Glazer.

Elsewhere, “You Ain’t My Dog No More” takes a classic blues riff in the vein of Elvis’s “Trouble,” and adds some tasty, grinding slide guitar, with Neals essaying a blues stutter just to enter into the spirit of the enterprise. “Cold Cold Night” has a shimmering opening combining acoustic guitar and Neals’ piano, and features Johnny Winter’s right-hand man Paul Nelson contributing to the effective interweaving of two guitars as it progresses in well-constructed fashion. “Call Me Moonshine” has an appealing, descending riff and squealing guitar work from Glazer, while – as elsewhere – Neals fashions some subtle vocal harmonies. “Merle Dixon” pulls off the neat trick of taking a catchy riff that echoes the White Stripes’ “Ball & Biscuit,” and giving it a modern gloss of throbbing bass notes and squelchy guitar licks.

10,000 Feet Below closes with the slow, echoing “At The Crossroads,” a fresh take on the “meeting the devil at the crossroads” myth that drifts away at the end in a ghostly fashion. It typifies the evocative qualities Neals brings to the fore on the album. Some of the material may lack the mysterious ‘Ingredient X’ to really stand out, but this is a solid, varied set. Neals may not be in the front rank of the current cadre of impressive female blues artists, but she’s not far behind.

The Review: 7.5/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Burn The Tent Down
– You Ain’t My Dog No More
– Cold Cold Night
– Merle Dixon
– At The Crossroads

The Big Hit

– Cold Cold Night

Review by Iain Cameron

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One Response to “Eliza Neals: 10,000 Feet Below Review”

  1. Eliza Neals says:

    Thanks for the cool review I’m glad you liked my production and arrangements. On “gloss of throbbing bass notes” there is no bass on MerleDixon but maybe you ment HardKillingFloor? Have a great summer season of festivals.

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