As the nights draw in, it is only natural to think about what you would rather be doing instead of walking in the rain. In such circumstances, something inspirational is needed to raise your spirits. Something like “Rain In Chicago” by 3Times7? Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.
Voiced with notable gusto by Jenny Lawrence, this is the kind of album that would get a roots festival crowd to its feet with these twelve songs pulling in all the right blues, cabaret and soul influences in one late night, whisky soaked direction. The 3Times7 game plan clearly includes entertainment and they duly demonstrate more than enough pizazz and polish to get them straight through the supper club doors in the better part of town.
Also working in their favour is the pleasingly organic quality that pervades the 3Times7 sound with enough down home guitar mixed in to make this album seem like something of a labour of love and respect for the 12 bar sound of the past. Not too much respect, however, these songs are definitely destined to be enjoyed rather than to be analysed by academics.
So, when all is said and done, “Rain in Chicago” is a traditional album that uses the blues as a base to power purposeful strides towards the approval of the cognoscenti who might, of a summer, attend a roots festival whilst still highlighting that music is there to be enjoyed. 3Times7 clearly have the heart in the right place and that is what makes these songs resonate with warmth. I feel a smile coming on.
Best song? “Gospel Blues”.
The verdict? An album that leaves you smiling.