Spotlight on Mary Lane’s “Leave Me Alone” – A Review by Norman Darwen for Blues & Rhythm Magazine

In an era where genuine blues seems increasingly rare, Mary Lane’s “Leave Me Alone” stands as a testament to the enduring power of the genre. Norman Darwen, writing for Blues & Rhythm Magazine, dives deep into this album, providing insights that both newcomers and seasoned blues enthusiasts will find enlightening.

Mary Lane, despite her historical collaborations with blues legends such as Robert Nighthawk, Howling Wolf, Magic Sam, and Elmore James, has a surprisingly concise discography. “Leave Me Alone” emerges not just as a collection of tracks, but as a pivotal moment in Lane’s career, showcasing her depth and versatility as a blues artist. Darwen points out that despite Lane’s substantial contributions to the blues, her recording history includes only a handful of albums and singles, a fact that makes “Leave Me Alone” all the more significant.

Originally issued under the title “Appointment With The Blues,” the album was produced by Noir label head Kirk Whiting and recorded by Twist Turner in 1996. Darwen emphasizes Lane’s authenticity and dedication to the blues genre, noting her refusal to dilute her music with soul-blues or rock elements. The backing band, featuring notables like Johnnie B. Moore on guitar and Detroit Junior on piano, provides a robust foundation that complements Lane’s powerful vocals.

“Three-Six-Nine Blues” is highlighted as a standout track, capturing an almost spontaneous energy between Lane and Detroit Junior. The album’s blend of traditional blues themes with Lane’s original compositions offers a fresh yet timeless take on the genre. Even the cover of Denise LaSalle’s “Make Love To Me One More Time” seamlessly integrates into the album’s overall vibe, adding a touch of soul-blues without straying from the core west side blues sound.

Darwen’s review doesn’t shy away from celebrating “Leave Me Alone” as a classic in its own right, asserting that such authentic blues albums are a rarity in today’s music scene. He argues that whether you’re discovering it for the first time or revisiting it, the album remains a must-have for any blues aficionado.

Mary Lane’s “Leave Me Alone” is more than just an album; it’s a piece of blues history. Through Norman Darwen’s insightful review for Blues & Rhythm Magazine, we’re reminded of the rich tapestry of stories and sounds that define the blues, and of Mary Lane’s indelible mark on this ever-evolving genre.