Raquel Rodriguez – Ice House, 3/7/15 and album review - “Miss Me”. The live performance was simply one of the best shows I’ve seen. This is a precision music machine - razor sharp and sublimely smooth. Every player outstanding. Like in certain other times and venues in Mpls., the stars of the R&B universe were shining this night. Look out Ristrom. “Miss Me” (2013, RQLROD.com) – Raquel wrote all the tunes, and the arrangements are stellar. This is a lyric-led album, articulated with a powerful vocal performance, and laced with deep soul/grooves at every turn. Rock solid rhythm section, complex horn arrangements and tight harmonies. Extraordinarily effective tempo choices. The album never disappoints – it just keeps on coming. It’s mixed perfectly and sounds fabulous at higher volumes (LP). No listener fatigue here. The songs cover a range of Love’s colors, both deeply personal and universal; save your money on couples counseling, buy this album and get your groove on. 1 (Hope You) Miss Me – “I’m shootin’ for the door, cause you take, and you take, and you take from me - you don’t give, you don’t give, you don’t give noth-in’.” Hot, high horns, great acoustic piano solo, rock-solid, straight ahead opener. 2) Tell Me It’s Fine – “Baby its time, make up your mind.. and tell me its fine..” – What decade is this from? Every decade. Horn soul in the best tradition, beautiful vocal harmonies, perfectly presented. 3) Don’t Owe You a Thing – Ow - good God! “So, you want to walk away? Well, leave me every part of me, ‘cause I Don’t Owe You a Thing.” Smooth horn builds, powerful vocals, surprising tension release. Searing electric guitar, complex harmonic overlays, etc. 4) Keepin’ On – “There’s not time to worry about everything – so don’t be afraid to take your chance to shine.” Hugely positive lyrics, universally inspiring. An energetic, keep-on-keepin’-on rocker. 5) Heaven Sent – and the Shirelles say, “Hey, hey, hey! He’s heaven sent to me!”. 6) Tryin’ – “I see that you’re tryin’, and I want you to know - that someday - I may ask you to stay”. Go ahead - fall right into that space.. the guitar.. the B3 and wait.. you’ll want to stay. Rockin’ vamps, tight harmonies. 7) Come Here - “I’m a woman lookin’ out for my man, and the things that you need – so come here (and I’ll never let you go)”. Gorgeous. Sharp 5/9 chord? 8) Fool That You Are – “Oh, you’re so foolish, I don’t want to break your heart, so I’ll change my ways (for you).” Surprising harmonic and tempo breaks propel the listener into harmonic space. Major 7 bliss, beautifully controlled falsetto. 9) (Baby) It’s You – “Don’t tell me to make better use of my time, ‘cause I need you to see I’m not that girl who always needs somebody, who needs a hand. But if I do, then baby, it’s you.” Pure vocal perfection. 10) Always – Santana’s Welcome meets Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Goin’ On” – Timeless song for humanity; Mother, Father, Sister, Brother, I need you – always. Added this to my desert island album collection. Thanks to Vanessa for bringing this show to the TC - more, please.