Delivering an evening of music and stories is the commission of a troubadour and the life chosen by Atlanta Soul Blues singer-songwriter Diane Durrett. Her eighth album and second with backing band Soul Suga’ titled “Diane Durrett & Soul Suga LIVE” captures Durrett in her element; on stage with songs and stories of life, love, redemption and celebration. All her skills are on display on this 25-track set captured at two shows at Eddie’s Attic in Decatur Georgia in July of 2017.
Durrett dishes out her southern charm with sincerity and wit like modern day Will Rogers and delivers vocal finesse akin to Mavis Staples, Nancy Wilson and Irma Thomas. The ten original tunes and one inspirational cover are infused with soul, blues and Gospel and intermingled with interludes, expository intros and life lessons from a master storyteller. Durrett is backed by the ultra-tight Soul Suga’ band, featuring Melissa Junebug on drums and percussion, Yoel B’nai Yehuda on keyboards, Gregg Shapiro on bass, with guitarist Markham White and background vocals from Adam McKnight and Deborah Reese along with special guests Wes Funderburke, the jazz band director at Kennesaw State University, on trombone and concertmaster of the Columbus (GA) Symphony Orchestra, violinist Kerren Berz.
A rousing introduction poses the question “are you ready for some soul and something sweet?’ setting the tone for the show. Durrett and the crew then launch into the proof positive revival ‘Bright Side,’ followed by the furious funk of ‘Butters In The Skillet,’ a horn-drenched tune from the Soul Suga’ album that made the top 10 on Roots Music Report. The slinky ‘It Is What It Is,’ tells the story of lost love and features a sweet trombone solo from Funderburke.
Durrett then waxes poetic introducing the sermon on self-preservation on the glorious hymn ‘Wish It Would Rain,’ urging us all to keep the faith in desperate times. She continues with the message for the easy swing of ‘Love Has A Right To Be Wrong,’ co-written with William Bell, before telling a heartwarming tale explaining her inspiration for the lovely ‘Be Somebody’s Angel.’ Her mother and grandmother were the inspiration for another beautiful tome ‘All Is Well,’ that features enchanting violin counterpoint from Berz. The sultry ballad ‘In Between Times,’ showcases the power and emotional depth of her dusky alto. Junebug steps up front and center for a hot percussion solo before the raucous second line tale of a wild woman ‘Sassy Larue.’ Durrett digs deep in to the Cole Porter standard ‘Summertime,’ adding her unique flair and sizzle to the lexicon of the most recorded song of all time.
Everyone shines and heads to funky town on the rousing ‘Don’t That Bring You Back,’ and the party rolls on for the saucy House Rocking Blues Grand Finale ‘Woohoo,’ an obvious fan favorite designed to get everyone on their feet. The audiences at Eddie’s Attic surely enjoyed a fabulous night of entertainment and now we all have this wonderful keepsake from those magic evenings with the pride of Atlanta; Diane Durrett and Soul Suga LIVE!
Rick J Bowen
“She’s good. She’s damn good.” Sting’s summation of his duet with singer songwriter producer Diane Durrett speaks for anyone who’s ever heard her perform. “One of those rare female singers that you’ll always remember as soon as you hear her for the first time,” writes the Nashville Blues Society Review.
In 2017 she was a Global Peace Song Award winner for ‘The River Sings’ co-written with Melissa Junebug. Winner of the 2015 ‘Peoples Choice Award’ by the Atlanta Blues Society, as a well as awarded the ‘Best Self-Produced Album’ representing Atlanta in the International Blues Challenge. “Soul Suga’ & Diane Durrett” received national & international attention charting in the Top 10 of the Roots Music Report Contemporary Blues chart. In 2018 Diane was re-elected to the Atlanta Board of the Recording Academy best known for the Grammys.
With a blend of raw soulful vocals, sultry tones and strong original songs Durrett has sung with Sting, Gregg Allman and Chuck Leavell (Rolling Stones). Durrett has opened shows for Tina Turner, KoKo Taylor, Tinsley Ellis, Delbert McClinton, and Derek Trucks. As well as lending her vocals to recording sessions for Grammy award winning producer Brendan O’Brien.
Durrett has long reflected the musical passions that inspired her while growing up in Atlanta, GA. From her energy-driven breakthrough debut 50,000 Volts of Soul (1993) to her superbly executed Rhythm of Life (1998) to her acoustic soul CHILL (2004), to the LIVE, Georgia On the Groove (2007), the groovy Blame It On My DNA (2009) produced by Ike Stubblefield to her holiday album Georgia Christmas (2012) to her release where she joined forces with drummers Yonrico Scott and Melissa Junebug on Soul Suga’ (2015) to her soulful single of Grammy award winning song The Rose (2017) co-produced with Thom TK Kidd to her latest electrifying LIVE album recorded at Eddie’s Attic Diane Durrett & Soul Suga (2018).
Diane’s song catalogue includes co-writes with William Bell (Born Under A Bad Sign) Jerry Ragovoy (Piece of My Heart), Oliver Wood (The Muse), and Bonnie Bramlett (Superstar). In true writer’s spirit, Diane also, authored a book entitled “Driving Music City” published by Amazon in 2009.
Durrett is a down-to-earth-diva. She sings from her soul, writes with heart & humor. Diane brings her southern wit and charm to every event. She’s pure entertainment!