By Chris Wells
An afternoon conversation with Ms Ferrell had revealed the answer to our most oft-asked question: ‘When is the next album coming out?’ The Art & Soul Of Rachelle Ferrell is, says the singer, around three-quarters completed – with more studio time planned around the turn of the year – and so ought to be released during 2015. Our heroine remains difficult to pin down, however: as to what might have been happening to Rachelle Ferrell’s life and career over the last 13 years since the last album, Individuality, well, the answers, she posits, will all be contained in the next project. Pay attention to the lyrics, she offers, and we’ll know.
In the meantime, her Ronnie Scott’s debut was a triumph. That extraordinarily rangey voice is still very much intact. Much of the material she sourced from the aforesaid Individuality. Highlights included a slowed down but still incredibly funky Sista, performed without a keyboard for the first time, [supported only by guitar, bass and drums] and a quite beautiful I Forgive You, for which she did sit down and play the piano herself. I Can Explain, the same album’s closing cut, drew warm applause for its opening gospelly runs, and gasps of excitement throughout and towards the magnificent climax. She’d promised a few new songs but, as it often does at Ronnie’s, time cut that short. A closing and very funky song, on which she played rhythm guitar, suggested her own satisfaction with how the next album is shaping up is far from misplaced. It was all too brief, but it did at least give us reassurance that a heroine is about to return to our lives. Feature upcoming.