“My husband don’t love me; he only want what’s under my dress,” she sings with exasperation. In another song, she’s sarcastic: “There must be somethin’ wrong with your watch, baby—you can’t seem to keep track of time.” She sympathizes with the woman who finds someone else’s lipstick and perfume in her house. But in the next number, she’s a woman with her own weakness: “I won’t tell my husband, if you won’t tell your wife. I’ve got a thang for you, baby. I know you’ve got a thang for me.” Above all, she presents a strong woman undaunted by the burden of the blues.
Lady Sunshine was raised in the Deep South but has been in Ann Arbor since 1975. She and the band have blended traditional southern sounds with Detroit soul and Motown rhythms. They can slow it down for a poignant “At Last, My Love Has Come Along” and rock out for “The Blues Is All Right.” In these hands, it is indeed.
Guy Hollerin’s hosts Lady Sunshine in the ballroom of the Holiday Inn near the University of Michigan on Valentine’s Day, Saturday, February 14.
[Originally published in February, 2009.]