Imelda May and I go way back. Not that she would know.
Like a lot of folks, I first came across the Irish singer about 10 when she sang on Jeff Beck’s all-star Les Paul tribute album and DVD Rock ’n’ Roll Party. I was lucky enough to be covering the Grammys that year, when she and Beck performed on the show; she even came backstage after to talk to the assembled media hordes, who mostly ignored her. Back in those days, of course, she was strictly a rockabilly queen. She’s contemporized her sound and her look since then. But she clearly hasn’t lost her knack for keeping good company. Her new single Just One Kiss is a collaboration with none other than Noel Gallagher, the former (and let’s be honest, since we all know it’s coming one day — future) guitarist of Oasis and the one and only Ronnie Wood, Beck’s old pal and bandmate (and the junior member of some little group you might know called The Rolling Stones). A sultry, slow-burning rocker reminiscent of mid-period The Pretenders, Just One Kiss is the new single from May’s upcoming album 11 Past The Hour, which arrives April 23. If the rest of the album is as good as this, it should also herald her long-overdue arrival in the big spotlight. About damn time, says I. Hear for yourself and tell me I’m wrong.