Gina Sicilia

Gina Sicilia
It Wasn’t Real

VizzTone Labels

By Lady K
June 2013

Gina Sicilia (out of Pennsylvania) is the vocalist and the songwriter on all tracks of this CD – except for her cover of Etta James’ “Don’t Cry Baby.” There are many (many) musicians collaborating with Gina on “It Wasn’t Real”: Joel Bryant (keyboards, vocals); Jay Davidson (tenor and baritone sax); Scot Hornick (acoustic, electric bass); Erik Johnson (drums); Mayra Casales (percussion); Jef Lee Johnson, Ross Bellenoit, Kevin Hanson, Glenn Barratt (guitars); Dennis Gruenling (harmonica); Mikki Kornegay (vocals). Lady K apologizes in advance if she missed anyone. It should be noted that famed guitarist Jef Lee Johnson passed away in January 2013; before this CD was released.

Gina Sicilia is a multi-genre performer. Her blues are the torchy, smoky nightclub, vampy kinda blues, but there’s some jazziness in a few tunes and lots of rockin’ going on. It Wasn’t Real has something for everyone. The title tune is a slow, sexy and soulful number (with some killer sax), in which she extolls the attractive virtues of her man, before he showed his true colors – as a rat – having absolutely no virtue. “They were not true words that were coming from his lips / it wasn’t real light that was coming from his eyes.” This is probably Lady K’s fave track on the album. Drums kick off “Please Don’t Stop,” a pleasing doo-wop tune about an addictive lover. “I said no, baby please don’t stop / when he says come, you know I come right on the double / the way he makes me feel, you know he’s always been trouble.” Subtle back-up vocals kind of sneak into the chorus, and enhance the doo-wop feel of the tune. “Wake Up Next To You” is another sexy tune, with sexy lyrics: “Do you wanna go home with me? Sun will be coming up soon / nothing left for us to do / and baby, I wanna wake up next to you.”

“Walkin’ Along the Avenue” is a rocking blues tune about betrayal (with some soulful harp from Gruenling); BUT it’s also a bad-news turned good-news tune with one love going bad, and (sweet karma), being replaced almost immediately with a truer love, discovered while “Walkin’ Along the Avenue.” In the slow, sax-heavy “City by the Water,” she tells him that she’ll be looking for him in some of their old, romantic spots: “Gonna meet you ‘by that old starlight, where music filled us with love” – super romantic. “Don’t Wanna Be No Mother” totally scared Lady K the first time she listened to it. Not being a mother – by choice – I forget sometimes that lots of women don’t realize until too late that being a mother (or a wife) isn’t always perfect. In this tune, Gina was writing about what she’s seen on the faces of exhausted mothers everywhere. Heavy stuff: traveling, for instance: “The stale air of the airplane smells like my life; don’t wanna be no mother, don’t wanna be no wife / Guess I’ve finally come to accept that I’m stuck here living in my own hell.”

It Wasn’t Real is a thoughtful, music-packed, enjoyable listen – try it yourselves.

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