Personnel: George Doering (guitar, mandolin, ukulele); Larry Saltzman (guitar, mandolin); Dean Parks, Andrew Synowiec, John Goux (guitar); Doug Livingston (lap steel guitar); Michael Witcher (dobro); Noam Pikelny (banjo); Gabe Witcher (violin, fiddle); Robin Olson, Tamara Hatwan , Bruce Dukov, Julie Gigante, Natalie Leggett, Roger Wilkie, Josefina Vergara (violin); Thomas Diener, Brian Dembow (viola); Timothy Loo , Andrew Shulman (cello); Tommy Morgan (harmonica); Dan Higgins (clarinet, saxophone); Bill Liston (tenor saxophone); Greg Huckins (baritone saxophone); Willie Murillo, Gary Grant, Daniel Fornero (trumpet); William Frank "Bill" Reichenbach Jr. (trombone); Marc Shaiman, Randy Kerber (piano); Larry Goldings (Hammond b-3 organ); Michael Valerio (upright bass); Jimmy Johnson , Leland Sklar, Neil Stubenhaus (electric bass); John "J.R." Robinson (drums); Alex Acu?a, Luis Conte (percussion); Scott M. Riesett (drum programming).
Recording information: Capitol Studios, Hollywood, CA; Over At Marc & Scott's, New York, NY; The Marc Shaiman Institute, Los Angeles, CA; the Record Plant, Hollywood, CA; Westlake Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA.
Photographer: Julia Kennedy.
Arranger: Marc Shaiman.
Bette Midler's 2014 effort, It's the Girls!, finds the legendary vocalist paying homage to female girl groups from the '40s, '50s, and '60s. Never one to be underestimated, however, Midler also brings the homage full circle with a reworking of TLC's 1995 R&B hit "Waterfalls." Midler's 14th studio album and 25th album overall, It's the Girls! follows up her successful compilation Memories of You. Though it represents an all-new effort in the studio, It's the Girls! nonetheless feels like a retrospective, a return to the cabaret and theatrical style of her early career. Working with veteran producers Marc Shaiman and Scott Riesett (both of whom previously helmed albums by Harry Connick, Jr., Mariah Carey, and others), Midler frames her resonant vocal chops with lush arrangements that, while reverential to the original recordings, certainly allow her to express her own personality on each song. Here, we get Midler's take on such classics of '60s girl group pop as the Ronettes' "Be My Baby," the Chiffons' "One Fine Day," and the Supremes' "You Can't Hurry Love." Elsewhere, she turns her attention to more golden-age vocal group standards like the Andrews Sisters' "Bei Mir Bist du Sch?n" and the Chordettes' "Mr. Sandman." These are brightly produced songs perfectly suited to Midler's vocal style, stage bravado, and cheeky sense of humor. ~ Matt Collar
Rolling Stone - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "The good news is that Midler has a voice that's rich enough to reanimate any pop standard - see her showstopping version of the Shirelles' 'Baby It's You,' which she reinvents as a gospel-flavored ballad."