Ally Venable

Real Gone
Ally Venable

Ally Venable has deep roots in blues-rock, but it’s easy to picture her as a festival headliner. A legitimate triple threat – the writer of original songs, a powerhouse vocalist and a tough, tasteful guitarist who can go toe-to-toe with the boys – the 24-year-old Texan’s latest effort, produced by Grammy winner Tom Hambridge, more than hints at a future beyond the traditional parameters of the blues.

The opening title track, a straightforward rocker with an urgent solo, serves as a prelude to an album’s worth of excellent guitar work. “Justifyin’,” a driving Buddy Guy cover, continues the trend, packing intensity and fury.

While appearances by Joe Bonamassa (“Broken and Blue”) and Guy (“Texas Louisiana”) add swagger to the proceedings, Venable serves notice she’s perfectly fine without the star power; “Kick Your Ass” features barbed riffs that underscore the song’s unmistakable lyrical message, and the ballad “Next Time I See You” shows her range, initially emphasizing space as the tune grows in intensity before delivering some of the most-evocative playing on the album.

Call it blues, rock, or something in-between, the future is wide open for Venable. This provides the proof.

This article originally appeared in VG’s June 2023 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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