Big City Rhythm & Blues Magazine

Laura Rain & The Caesars
Gold
LRC Records laurarain.net
Laura Rain and her group of Motor City mercenaries known as The Caesars have been knocking crowds out at festivals all over the country this summer. Her last CD “Closer" got her signed on the line and out on the road. For her new CD “Gold" the posters feature the vivacious Miss Rain in a skin tight gold lame jumpsuit reminiscent of James Bond films, assuring some real action. The CD cover art features the ferociously delicate face of Miss Rain thrown back in song while on the flip side Laura’s jump suit is obscured by her debonair band leader and co-songwriter George Friend and his guitar. Baby, with her voice and music like this that’s all you’ll need, everything else is just pleasant window dressing. The Bond analogy is fitting for the big bold soundtrack-like sound of Miss Rain’s dramatic near-operatic vocals while The Caesars have a gritty groove hitting closer to “Trouble Man" or “Shaft." So slap on these twelve all original tracks of “Gold," get on the floor and be ready to groove.
The first eight songs could be a medley from an action soundtrack. The credits open with a pulse-pounding action sequences as Laura’s vocals “Work So Hard" till the suspenseful ping of guitar and twitch of tambourine ushers in a restrained Miss Rain with “Hard Times." A harder rock edge bludgeons “You Can’t Stop" then shifts into a disco flavored “Pay To Play" with Ms Rain’s sublime vocals captivating each. The title tune’s arrangement with horns and percussion led by tambourine has a classic Detroit Motown feel that’s pure “Gold." With “Guilty Me" a regretful Laura sings of temptation and illicit behavior as the guitar gently screams for mercy as “Raise Your Hand" is stripped down to a simple trio, the fuzzed guitar blasting a sax like solo. In the contemplative “Lonely Girl" Laura’s tone and projection builds the tension with Laura blasting to a finale. The final four are no less stunning with the dance floor filler of “Cherry Pickin’," the Stax-like soul of “Better Than Me," the confessional break up of “Ring On The Table" and the minimalist backing of drums and guitar under Laura’s double and triple tracked vocals on “Ready To Love" make for a gorgeously striking conclusion.
“Gold" is a gleaming example of modern soul and a testament to Laura Rain & The Caesars.—Roger & Margaret White bluestime@sbcglobal.net