The title of Vaneese Thomas’s new record, The Long Journey Home, is very appropriate, as she takes us back to her roots on this splendid album. She may have even surpassed her superb last record, Blues For My Father, as she makes her way into our heart and mind with her voice and original songs. She has this music running deep in her veins, as part of the royal family of Memphis soul and blues. She takes what she learned from the past and weaves it into a musical tapestry that will hold the listener’s attention from the first note till the last. A beautifully recorded collection of tunes with the only cover being a fine rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s The Chain, which, in Vaneese’s capable hands, becomes a deep, soul searching epic. But that is only one of the truly remarkable songs on this record. The band shines throughout and we even get Vaneese on piano on the gospel inspired Mean World. She should play piano more often if this is an example of her keyboard skills. It’s going to be difficult to take this one out of the CD player. Kudos to Ms. Thomas for creating another terrific record, and one that may likely end up in many of the top ten lists for 2016.