Deluxe Edition

Saffire, The Uppity Blues Women

Fifteen years ago, when Alligator Records added this trio to its roster, it broke new ground in a couple of ways: not only were they acoustic (a major deviation from the label’s patented electric “genuine house rockin’ music” focus) but they were all women. Needless to say their first eponymously titled record was an immediate hit and they’ve gone on to make six more. Devoted fans who have all of them and those who are new to the group’s music will be glad to have this “deluxe edition” anthology as its 20 tracks feature the group’s best moments. Consisting of pianist Ann Rabson, guitarist Gaye Adegbalola and bassist Earlene Lewis—who was replaced a few years later by multi-instrumentalist (bass/mandolin/ fiddle) Andra Faye—the group pays homage to other great blueswomen (e.g., Bessie Smith, Lucille Bogan and Memphis Minnie), but their main talent lies in writing songs expressing defiantly feminist attitudes that can really get their audience going. Q.v. the 7:14 version of “Bitch with a Bad Attitude,” from 1998’s Live & Uppity, a raucous song Adegbalola dedicates “to all the bitches in the house, you know who you are and you know if you’re with one.”