Cathy Lemons hails out of San Francisco and is quite the blues singer and while I know that the moniker Mistress of Soul would seem to imply a direct path into the genre’ of soul this lady is indeed a true blues entertainer. You see in this case Mistress of Soul refers to something more unique. The words in this case refer to someone being a slave to a process, to being a mistress to the soul.
John Lee Hooker shared it this way, “Cathy Lemons she’s got it, that’s real blues, funky”. One of the reasons Cathy’s “got it” as John Lee points out is partially due to her years of non-profit work for women. It was then that she witnessed the blues at work in others in a real up close and personal way. She saw serious casualities of the heart in both men and women alike due to the situations that good everyday people get into and it's then that the blues touches people deeply. An emotional door swung open and when it did a desire developed that inched Cathy toward gaining a greater understanding of these situations and the personal condition. A greater appreciation for the delicate nature that those in love balance their lives on took root. There was this glaring reality that we are all slaves to what is emotionally bound within us. Things that for some reason we can do little about but yet exist. These ingredients come together to form a definite recipe for the blues.
The blues for Cathy Lemons is a type of communication vehicle that resides within and just as the man says, "She's got it.". Obviously If you feel the blues, it comes out, and audiences know the real deal when they hear and see it. Through her music Cathy expresses the feelings of heartache that go along with loving someone to a fault even when you know at the same time that you are losing everything. This kind of emotional roller coaster is what leads us on that constant internal search within ourselves as we struggle between common sense and matters of the heart. So when John Lee says "she’s got it" he can tell the blues is in there and when Cathy delivers it resonates with feeling and that comes across in an extraordinary way.
The Mistress of Soul released her third CD “Black Crow” recently in April. DownBeat ranks the CD with four stars. (no surprise there) The CD is currently charting at number 24 on Living Blues and it’s ranked number 10 in the U.K. by Blues Matters. This latest piece of work is on the Vizztone Label and was co-produced by Kid Anderson. Guest artists include Volker Strifler on guitar, Doug James (of Jimmie Vaughan and Roomful of Blues) in the brass section, and of course the pros in Cathy's band: Stevie Gurr, Paul Olguin, Kevin Zuffy, and D'mar and/or Robbie Bean on drums. This is one star studded release .
As Cathy and the band move closer to 2015 they will be announcing new performance dates. To stay in touch just access www.cathylemons.com and choose the calendar tab to learn where you can see them live in the near future. You can also find Cathy and the band at: www.facebook.com/cathy.lemons1.
Cathy’s youthful exposure to music by Aretha Franklin began to open her eyes at an early age. Additional major influences arrived on the scene in those early years soon afterward. The music presented by Billie Holiday, Mavis Staples, Big Mama Thornton, as well as Jimmy McCracklin remain with her to this very day. As time advanced however it would be spending time with the famed bluesman himself, John Lee Hooker, that galvanized this blues woman’s desire to look deeper into the fire. Cathy doesn’t sound like anyone else. Even with the youthful influences of the greats she still comes across as her own person - delivering the blues from the heart attempting to master the soul.