Deitra Farr | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Deitra Farr 

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On Let It Go! (JSP), her most recent disc, Chicago-based blues singer Deitra Farr comes as close as she ever has to capturing the range and stylistic flair she brings to her live performances. Unlike too many screamers and melisma-mad show-offs, Farr prefers understatement: her delivery of "Signs, Signals, and Warnings," a meditation on a failed love affair, is smoldering and haunted; on "I'm Through With It," a soul-drenched blues that recalls Stax-era Albert King (a feeling enhanced by Billy Flynn's keening guitar bends), she conveys her outrage by tightening her voice like a fist. And on "My Love for You" she gradually ascends from breathy, murmured pleas into anguished testifying, creating an almost cinematic vision of claustrophobia and desperation. But she can also throw a hell of a party, as she proves on the jubilant New Orleans-tinged romp "Call Your Wife," singing in an unrepentantly raucous backstreet bellow. J.B. Ritchie opens. Fri 8/11, 9:30 PM, Buddy Guy's Legends, 754 S. Wabash, 312-427-0333, $15.

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