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Rita ChiarelliRita Chiarelli, Breakfast At Midnight (NorthernBlues Music 2001) - Canadian blues mama Rita Chiarelli shows a groovin' style on Breakfast At Midnight. With more than 20 years in the business, and several years spent as an ex-patriot in Italy, Chiarelli knows her way around a song.

Chiarelli started performing at age 15, and formed a nine-piece R&B band, Battleaxe, which toured the U.S. and Canada. In 1999, Rita was voted "Best Female Blues Vocalist" by the Toronto Blues Society.

Rita does the down-and-dirty blues on "Loving You (Is Killing Me)." Yet I like her better when she's more melodic, on tracks like "Never Been Loved Before" and "Since I've Had You on My Mind." For Breakfast At Midnight, Rita was joined by Al Cross on drums, George Koller and Pat Kilbride on bass, Richard Bell on accordion and keyboards, and Colin Linden, Kevin Breit and Papa John King on electric guitar.

Rita ChiarelliAnybody who calls the tough turf of Hamilton, Ontario her hometown deserves a listen. For example, Rita describes the song "Last Train" by saying, "The mood of the song is inspired by my hometown, Hamilton, a steel town. It's symbolic of not being able to stay put for too long in a relationship."

Road-tested and as hard as "Eggs Over Easy (With Another Drink)." That's Rita Chiarelli.

- Randy Krbechek © 2001

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