Ally Venable | Real Gone Review
by Tom Faddis
Ally Venable’s latest album, Real Gone, is a solid find in the maze of blues releases! This guitar-totten gal has been wowing us blues fans since her 2021 album Heart of Fire. Venable has already garnered a slew of awards, including “Female Guitarist of the Year,” “Blues Band of the Year” thrice, and “Album of the Year” at the 2017 ETX Music Awards.
Real Gone was produced by the Grammy-winning Tom Hambridge and features twelve original tunes, including guest appearances from guitarist Joe Bonamassa and blues icon Buddy Guy.
The “Texas Louisiana” track is an absolute blast for blues fans, with Buddy Guy lending his soulful vocals and guitar chops. Venable and Guy lock into a bluesy call-and-response blues shuffle, singing the praises of the South that will have you humming for days. The guitar solos from both Venable and Guy are top-notch, showcasing their unique blues dialects and common language, though they are generations apart.
Another standout track is the feisty “Kick Your Ass,” which features a crunchy riff and a thumping bassline supporting Venable’s powerful vocals soaring. She fills the spaces with excellent guitar licks with a warm and authentic, though it is modern, guitar tone. Her solo melds traditional blues and contemporary blues rock, making for a tasty treat sure to satisfy your blues cravings.
Real Gone demonstrates that Venable’s songwriting, vocal skills, and guitar work are more potent than ever. She’s got a guitar tone that could cut through any smoke-hazed blues joint, and her singing showcases a range of colors and textures that have matured beautifully and extend beyond her years. In addition, having blues legends like Bonamassa and Guy on board is a testament to the respect she’s earned among her musical forebears.
If Ally Venable isn’t already on your radar, it’s high time you tuned in and discovered what this six-slinger has to say. So grab your shades, kick back, and let Real Gone transport you to a world of smoky bars, sultry nights, and the irresistible sound of the blues. Peace and love, and long live the blues, baby!
Release Date: April 8, 2023
Label: Ruf Records