|Having lost all their live shows during this pandemic, Diane Durrett and her crew in Atlanta got busy in the studio, tracking new songs, and creating videos to share the message of love, hope and laughter, which has always been pivotal to the Soul Suga experience. The acclaimed singer, songwriter and producer continued her collaboration with band mates, drummer Melissa Junebug, keyboardist Yoel B’nai Yehuda, Mike Burton on saxophone, and bass players Fuji Fujimoto and Gregg Shapiro, guitarists Tomi Martin, Cody Matlock, Ian Schumacher, and special guest Tinsley Elis, on eight new tracks for her ninth album Put A Lid On It.
The material Durrett and her group create certainly oozes soul, defined by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as “music that arose out of the black experience in America through the transmutation of gospel and rhythm & blues into a form of funky, secular testifying.” The songs all feature Durrett’s smokey alto and concise lyrical sensibility on subjects of life and love through genre blending styles of blues, pop, gospel, jazz, and funk all delivered with signature sass, style and, of course, soul.
The introspective ballad, “In My Soul,” opens the album with Durrett at the piano making the first declaration of love with an open heart. She then consoles a dear one on the slow-burning affirmation “We Got It,” simply explaining “you never have to worry in my arms.” “Sweeter Love Grows” is an autobiographical testimonial of love at first sight and how the fire burns deeper as time nurtures a solid relationship. Initially released as the first of three video singles the breezy shuffle, “Blue Water,” has a laid-back summertime feel and tasty guitar playing from Matlock. Durrett leads the congregation in a pleading hymn “Wish It Would Rain,” with Yehuda providing sublime Hammond organ and piano accompaniment.
Alligator recording artist and fellow Atlanta bluesman, Tinsley Ellis, drops a sizzling lead as Durrett whips out some of her trademark sauciness on the swinging “Put A Lid On It.” She implores her lover to shut off the TV and pay attention to her on the bawdy “Good News.” The fun-loving party anthem, “Make America Groove,” closes out the set with hot horn jabs over a funky dance beat and nods to Aretha and the Star-Spangled Banner.
Put A Lid On It, from Diane Durrett and Soul Suga, not only showcases the talent and creativity of this strong group, but also their tenacity to carry on artistic endeavors and offer us some much-needed solace in these troubling times.
Rick J Bowen
Diane Durrett is an internationally recognized singer/songwriter and producer. Her album ‘Diane Durrett & Soul Suga LIVE’ was reviewed as “Killer, high octane soul throughout” and rose to #5 on the Soul Blues International Roots Music Report. Now her sweet and sassy 9th album ‘Put A Lid On It’ by Diane Durrett & Soul Suga’ will be released September 24, 2021.
In 2020, Durrett produced three music videos for her latest singles from her new album ‘Blue Water’, ‘Good News’ and ‘Make America Groove’. This led to editing, producing, and hosting a two-part video series for the Producer & Engineer Wing of the Recording Academy, best known for the GRAMMYs, in 2021 called “In the Mix Studio PROS: Ladies Leading the Way.” Previously Durrett served as Vice President of the Recording Academy ATL Chapter. Durrett joined music leaders as an advocate for creators’ rights meeting with Senators for GRAMMYS on the Hill in Washington, DC resulting in the passing of the Music Modernization Act. She is now in her sixth year as an elected board member and serves on the national blues advisory board as well as the co-Chair of the Producer Engineer Wing ATL.
In 2019 Durrett hosted the inaugural highly successful Women In Blues event for the Atlanta Blues Society highlighting female blues musicians in Georgia. Durrett was the winner of the 2015 ‘Peoples Choice Award’ by ABS, as well as awarded the ‘Best Self-Produced Album’ for “Soul Suga’ & Diane Durrett,” which charted in the Top 10 of the RMR Contemporary Blues chart. In 2017 she was a Global Peace Song Award winner for ‘The River Sings’ co-produced and written with Melissa Junebug.
With a blend of raw soulful vocals, sultry tones, and strong original songs Durrett has sung with Sting, Gregg Allman, The Indigo Girls, 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 and Kristian Bush (Sugarland).
Durrett has long reflected the musical passions that inspired her while growing up in Atlanta, Georgia. 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 ‘T.K.’ Kidd to her electrifying LIVE album recorded at Eddie’s Attic ‘Diane Durrett & Soul Suga’ (2018) to her holiday single ‘Another Ride Around the Sun’ (2019) to 2020 pre-album release singles ‘Blue Water’, ‘Good News’ and ‘Make America Groove’ and now ‘Put A Lid On It.’
Diane’s song catalog includes co-writes with William Bell (Born Under A Bad Sign), Jerry Ragovoy (Piece of My Heart), Oliver Wood (One Drop of Truth), Emily Sailers (Galileo)and Bonnie Bramlett (Superstar). In 2011 Diane began her artist development company Blooming Tunes Music, coaching vocalists, songwriters, and producing records. In true writer’s spirit, Diane also authored “Driving Music City,” which was published by Amazon in 2009. She sings from her soul and writes with heart & humor.