Powerhouse singer Mahalia Barnes, one of the most impressive female vocalists to come out of Australia, and her band The Soul Mates have teamed up with American blues-rock guitarist Joe Bonamassa to release an album of Betty Davis covers called Ooh Yea! – The Betty Davis Songbook. The album explores tracks from Davis’ sexy, raw funk records of the early ’70s.
Mahalia Barnes, eldest daughter of Australian rock legend Jimmy Barnes and recent contestant on The Voice, has been around music her whole life but has always been most heavily influenced by soul, blues and rock n’ roll. Standout tracks include the strong, heavy-grooved opener “If I’m In Luck I Might Get Picked Up,” the intense, rocking “Steppin’ In Her I. Miller Shoes” which features a wailing guitar solo by Bonamassa, the snarling vocals of “He Was A Big Freak,” Barnes, MacRae and Tippins harmonizing on “Game Is My Middle Name” and “Walking Up The Road” featuring guest vocals by Jimmy Barnes.
Ooh Yea! – The Betty Davis Song Book is certainly Mahalia’s most ambitious and prodigious work to date. It’s a record of songs with passion, feeling, power and grit that celebrates one of the most progressive voices of funk and R&B.