Steve Hackett Exploring The Night Siren on his latest Album

Steve Hackett Exploring The Night Siren on his latest Album

 

Steve Hackett Exploring The Night Siren on his latest Album

Steve Hackett Exploring The Night Siren on his latest Album, his twenty-fifth as a solo artist a silver landmark of a distinguished career. Sit back, and be taken on an extravaganza of musical experiences. The Night Siren has its own tuneful call, melding together modern rock instruments with sounds from the dawn of time as Persian Oud meets Andean Quena via the strings of the viola and bass clarinet. Incorporating tradition with contemporary sounds works as The Night Siren weaves musical tonal textures under the guidance and artistry of Steve Hackett. With the complexities of string, woodwind and percussive instrumentation building a landscape where there is no simple journey of going in a straight line to your destination. The music flows, creating eddies, swells and detours, taking your ear to places that are delightful as Progressive Rock fills the room with layers of interest. Never self-indulgent always with a purpose exploring peace, how light will stop the plunge into darkness and self-destruction.

Hackett has gathered around him a group of artists who develop the scope of the instrument that shapes the music without constraints. The album has a global vision, reflected as we travel from the cold to heat. Steve Hackett travelled around the planet working with Icelandic drummer Gunnlaugur Briem, Azerbaijan tar player Malik Mansurov, Israeli vocalist Kobi Farhi and Arabic singer Mira Awad, who represented Israel in the, Eurovision song contest.

Opening the epic musical journey we join the legendary prog-rock guitarist and vocalist as the veil is lifted and we see Behind The Smoke. Behind the smoke on this socio-political song exploring displaced refugees and leader’s own self-interest of protecting borders. This is an album of music without borders, inventive and without self-constraint. This is music that is both considered, intriguing and above all else exciting. My first experience of the stringed Persian instrument Tar; the mystical sound pulls in the guitar and the sultry Eastern vocals from Amanda. The instrumental breaks have a sense of purpose and inherent rhythm that says more than the words. The didgeridoo under Sara’s guidance is joined by her father, Ferenec Kovacs trumpet as we travel to Fifty Miles from the North Pole. The opening is quiet, the sound is cool creating a soundscape of a journey across a landscape cold, ‘’it can freeze your soul”

The dramatic opening of El Niño with drums and strings describes the power of this force of nature as the orchestra of sounds creates the soundscapes of nature’s fury. All the tracks are mesmerising, as we step to the Other Side of the Wall we enter a dream zone shaping a different hegemony one of peace, solution and tranquility refuting the way the world seems to be a head full of xenophobia, hatred and intolerance. The music is cathartic a window of hope and renewal.

Rock, rises above on Inca Terra and In Another Life. Civilizations from the past connect the two melodies and cascade through the middle of the album, revitalizing and shining light on mysteries. Instruments from previous times help in the linking of the world of the past and now as quena and Uilleann pipes are used to great effect in shaping the melodic mood.

As the album draws to its worldly conclusion West To East fate is explored as we are lead to ask why the birds have left the sky. It is a message that we need to look into the East not expect the traffic of understanding has to flow East to West. We need to find what we have in common and then Peace can be found. There is hope and this is the track that lightens the night siren with a message of renewal. Closing with The Gift the shortest track, we are under the spell of Steve Hackett’s guitar playing and the lusciousness of the strings picking up the melody. The instrumental pulls the themes together once more re-affirming the talent of Steve Hackett.

The Night Siren, is more than a collection of eleven tracks. The Night Siren a celebration of the depth of cultures throughout the world. The wealth of music, the wealth of tones, the wealth of what is good in humanity. The Night Siren is a call to action for a different world. Open, giving and tolerant. The Night Siren is composition that will on every listen enthrall and entrance. Prog-rock does not get better than this. Albums do not get better than this. The Night Siren is masterful and the best yet from the talented musical mind of Steve Hackett.

Steve Hackett – The Night Siren – Inside Out Music

TENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. Behind the Smoke
  2. Martian Sea
  3. Fifty Miles From North Pole
  4. El Niño
  5. Other Side of the Wall
  6. Anything but Love
  7. Inca Terra
  8. In Another Life
  9. In the Skeleton Gallery
  10. West to East
  11. The Gift

 

Steve Hackett Exploring The Night Siren on his latest Album
Steve Hackett, Dec 2016. Photo by Tina Korhonen © 2016, all rights reserved.

 

The Night Siren  Lineup

Steve Hackett: electric & acoustic guitars, oud, charango, sitar guitar, harmonica, vocals (1-11)
Roger King: keyboards & programming (1-10)
Amanda Lehmann: vocals (1.2.3.6.7.9.10)
Christine Townsend: violin, viola (3,4,5,7,9,10)
Rob Townsend: baritone & soprano sax, flute, flageolet, quena, bass clarinet (1,4,7,9)
Gary O’Toole: drums (3,4,10)
Nick D’Virgilio: drums (2)
Guili Briem: drums, cajon, percussion (7,9)
Mira Awad: vocals (10)
Leslie-Miriam Bennett – keyboards (11)
Dick Driver: double bass (3,4,5,7)
Nad Sylvan: vocals (7)
Kobi Farhi: vocals (10)
Benedict Fenner: keyboards and programming (11)
Jo Hackett: vocals (10)
John Hackett: flute (2,10)
Ferenc Kovács: trumpet (3)
Sara Kovács: didgeridoo (3)
Malik Mansurov: tar (1)

 

Steve Hackett Exploring The Night Siren on his latest Album

Dan Patlansky In Conversation Touring 2017 and Beyond

Dan Patlansky In Conversation Touring 2017 and Beyond

Dan Patlansky In Conversation
Touring 2017 and Beyond

BD: Morning Dan, great to see and catch up with you in Sheffield at HRH Blues and the opportunity to talk this morning

 BD: Dan Patlansky, Back in UK and Europe for an exciting tour. Latest single Sonova Faith from the award-winning and acclaimed album Introvertigo.  Returning to venues new and old favourites? With a new band tell us about your touring plan. Starting off at Mr Kyps with Ash Wilson opening and HRH festival you have hit the ground running

DP: Yes, back in UK and Europe with second round touring with Introvertigo.  Following the achievement of Introvertigo being number 1 Blues Rock Album of 2016 by the influential American website Blues Rock Review.  So we are back with a new band of session musicians from Germany bringing a different feel from my South African band. Part tour back at The Globe in Cardiff which will be such fun with Ash Wilson opening a great band, great songs the combination will be a good night of live music following on from Mr Kyps. HRH Blues was amazing great crowd and some amazing bands the atmosphere was really positive.

BD: Having heard your acoustic set at HRH which was wonderful, elegant, beautiful with lingering notes that I wanted to last forever; have you thought about doing more acoustic in the UK?

DP: Yes, it was fun. Acoustic is a different beast to playing electric. In some ways limiting with the change of guitar style. It is a challenge in the way you play and think about the music. As for playing acoustic in the UK; back in South Africa we often do the combination acting as our own support act. Yet to do that in the UK. Perhaps for the future; the logistic of travelling with an Acoustic rig as well as electric will be another travelling challenge. For acoustic at HRH I borrowed Big Boy Bloaters guitar, it was great to play and a big thank you to Big Boy Bloater’s loan of his lovely acoustic guitar. It was a different vibe when I played the guitar showing the power of acoustic.

BD: We all love to hear you get that special sound out of your Strat Old Red and is certainly how you continue to build your fan base. Tell us about strings, pickups and I believe you are retiring the beautiful guitar. How will you find a replacement?

DP: I play with twelve gauge strings, they are considered heavy, but I have always used them. I don’t just use them for the showmanship of the last number. I like the sound they produce. I use standard Fender pickup. For the last number, I turn my amp up to achieve sonic textures, feedback making it as musical as possible.  I always have the amp fairly high, I play loud which is why I have speakers facing the wings and turn them up which can surprise front of house guys.

Old Red not being retired just refining parts of her. Just the neck is being overhauled. The neck has become a liability, 1960’s Fenders used Brazilian Rosewood, this is now a restricted wood and can cause a problem at customs in some countries. In addition, the neck is getting tired and twisted. When I get back home from this tour I’ll be getting a new neck for the guitar.  A face-lift, not retirement.

BD: How do you keep the tracks we love to hear you play the sound is so fresh and vibrant when playing live? It is as if we are hearing the tracks for the first time as you add interest and surprises.

DP: This tour there is a new dynamic with the German musicians. It is though the nature of the music improvising. I may be playing the same song every night on tour, yes the melody, lyrics and chords stay the same but I go in different directions. Not always the way I expect, I grew up playing Jazz music the king of improvisation so every night has its own journey. Can be good or not that is the nature of the beast. It keeps the music exciting for us as musicians and puts a fresh breath into every night’s performance. We are definitely not playing by numbers, traditional blues is steeped in improvisation. I am just keeping that tradition alive and flourishing through my music.

BD: With a hectic touring schedule here, Europe and South Africa what are your plans for 2017 and beyond?

DP: Yes touring is hectic but always great to catch up with friends and fans we make on the tour. This will be the last UK tour focused on Introvertigo. I have dates in South Africa when I return. Then in June we go back in the studio with new songs, new ideas for my next album which will be released Spring 2018. Then back touring South Africa. We are also possibly back in the UK November 2017; where we could be previewing new tracks from the forthcoming album. So watch this space once dates finalized we will be letting the fans know.

BD:  You are back in Cardiff at The Globe, what makes venues fun to return to? Is it building the fan base?

DP: Yes, excited to be playing back in Cardiff. I love the vibe of the venue. Why return to venues, it is a bit of both the venue and the audience is a big part of the show. The Globe is a great little venue, great audience who have such a positive response. I love the sound of the venue, the guitar always sounds good to me on stage which is really satisfying. The Globe is a loud room, lots hard surfaces. It is a venue I will always look forward to playing. The Cardiff crowd are always up for loud music and to enjoy the blues.

BD: Thank you for sharing with your growing group of fans. We have asked you your fantasy band, what you are listening to in previous interviews. So today who would you invite to play with Dan Patlansky band?

DP: Dream scenario would be David Gilmore from Pink Floyd. Gilmore got me into music generally and in particular the guitar.

BD: Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule and looking forward to seeing you play live in Cardiff on 4th May.

Dan Patlansky In Conversation Touring 2017 and Beyond

 

Dan Patlansky In Conversation Touring 2017 and Beyond

READ what Bluesdoodles said about the TEN Doodle paw album  Introvertigo – We voted the album as the best Overseas album heard over at Bluesdoodles HQ.

Introvertigo with its carefully crafted lyrics that blend urbane wit and honest observation, this is blues pertinent to today’s lifestyles, not so much whisky and women more the corruption of power and social interaction. Ten tracks there are no fillers every number is full of strength and tonal power but there is not an off note or lyric.  

FULL Review – HERE

Dan Patlansky In Conversation Touring 2017 and Beyond

Migration Blues the story unfolds under Eric Bibb Blues Mastery

Migration Blues
the story unfolds under Eric Bibb Blues Mastery

When you listen to a new Eric Bibb album you expect extraordinary blues, he is one of the best. Does Migration Blues reach my expectations? Yes, the album surpasses expectations.  The reason fo the album name, Migration Blues is the connectivity between now and the past. As Eric said “ Fleeing war & hardship is something people have been doing all over the world for millennia – nothing new … Whether you’re looking at a former sharecropper, hitchhiking from Clarksdale to Chicago in 1923, or an orphan from Aleppo, in a boat full of refugees in 2016 — it’s migration blues.”
On the album, Eric joined by JJ Millaeu with his harmonica and the multi–instrumentalist John Browne on guitar, fiddle and banjo. Also on the album are sympathetic drumming, at times harking back to the pain of slaves forced migration out of Africa from Olle Linder, Big Daddy Wilson and Ulrika Bibb’s backing vocals. It is Eric Bibb that drives the album directing tone and tempo as he emotionally sings the lyrics with strong and at times painful stories to tell. Bibb is the modern man of the blues he is the real deal.

The context of the album is Migration, the impact, hurt and pain of leaving home whether from Aleppo in 2016 or the migration from rural South to industrial North. Scratch the surface and we all have migrants in our ancestry, moving from home is a shared history. The parallels weave through the album from contemporary to historical migration.  Shaped and discussed on social media, and news stories, on migration blues the elegant simplicity tells the truth of the pain of migration.

Opening with Refugee Moan, the plucked strings deep and redolent of journeys yet to take and we board the train at the heart of many a blues song. Eric Bibb, implores to be able to ride the train, let me board the ship this is a song of the desperate need for deliverance into the great unknown. Powerful messages pen your minds and take the journey through the vocals and words of Bibb the bluesman for today. With simple arrangements acting as gentle punctuation and soundscapes for the power of the lyrics redolent with meaning and the human condition. Every track is special. Highlights for me are the prayerful intoning of Prayin’ For Shore, as you want to reach a stranger’s land unknowing if help or violence will greet you the harmonica cries in harmony with the lyrics. The deep southern blues of Migration Blues, an instrumental with the depth of his twelve string resonator and the imploring of the harp cries the pain that no words are needed to explain.  The stunning cover of Bob Dylan’s Masters of War fits perfectly in the track list of the album, as does Guthrie’s This Land Is Your Land. The hope of a better life is there with Brotherly Love and the closing Mornin’ Train. Once more Eric Bibb has captured today in the simplicity of his blues shining and pure.  This is an album that makes you think, feel the plight of others and be slower to condemn and quicker to find out the story behind the stranger in a strange land as Eric says Peace and Love.

Eric Bibb – Blues Migration – Dixiefrog Records

TENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. Refugee Moan
  2. Delta Giveaway
  3. Diego’s Blues – 01
  4. Prayin’ For Shore
  5. Migration Blues
  6. Four Years, No Rain
  7. We Had To Move
  8. Masters Of War
  9. Brotherly Love
  10. La Vie C’est Comme Un Oignon
  11. With A Dolla In my Pocket
  12. This Land Is Your Land
  13. Postcard From Brooker
  14. Blacktop
  15. Mornin’ Train

Migration Blues the story unfolds under Eric Bibb Blues Mastery

Bluesdoodles Album Picks First Quarter 2017

Bluesdoodles Album Picks First Quarter 2017

 

 

What a start to 2017 – two festivals and some fantastic live gigs, memory box of 2017 filling up fast. Adding to the mix of delights is a cascade of albums arriving through the letterbox both the electronic format and the traditional front door.

First thirteen weeks, I have listened to many and thirty-three have been reviewed Bluesdoodles keyboard warrior loves the listening, enjoys the typing. The hard part is deciding the number of doodle paws for the superb musicianship and variety of styles we listen to. At the end of the first quarter of 2017 from the 1st of January through to 31st March 2017: EIGHT albums shone bright, thus ten doodle paws were stamped on the cover.

Clicking the album cover takes you to the review:-

Bluesdoodles Album Picks First Quarter 2017

Bluesdoodles Album Picks First Quarter 2017

Bluesdoodles Album Picks First Quarter 2017

Bluesdoodles Album Picks First Quarter 2017

Bluesdoodles Album Picks First Quarter 2017

Bluesdoodles Album Picks First Quarter 2017

Bluesdoodles Album Picks First Quarter 2017

Bluesdoodles Album Picks First Quarter 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hurricane Ruth – Ain’t Ready For The Grave – Hurricane Ruth Records  “Hurricane Ruth delivers blues with gritty determination. She sets the music going and raises the tempo and heat until a perfect storm is created, with energised, swirling blues that are fueled with high-octane rock.  ….  The album is delivered with passion and determination the lyrics are set free by Hurricane Ruth’s vocal interpretation.” Read the rest of the review HERE

Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion – This is The Life I Choose – 33 Records: “With three studio albums under Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion’s belt the fourth is definitely not running out of steam, it is full throttle blues. The blues are stylish, a mix of pathos and humour, reflections and looking forward, sadness and hints of joy”  Read the rest of the review HERE

Thunder Rip It UpearMUSIC: “Rip It Up will never be a boring listen.  Why? … Thunder’s eleventh studio album they a have definitely roared out of the studio with Rip It Up. An album for Thunder fans who have followed them over three decades and for those discovering them at today. …..  Rip It Up as new fans come under Thunder’s rock spell.”  Read the rest of the review HERE

Erja Lyytinen – Stolen Hearts –  Tuohi Records.  “The only answer as the last notes fade is listen and explore Stolen Hearts again. Why? Stolen Hearts is an album of musical maturity that will remain a firm favourite for years to come in collections of lovers of contemporary blues without boundaries.” Read the rest of the review HERE

Jo Harman – People We Become – Independent:The ten track, superbly crafted album closes out with piano and voice as Lonely Like Me with deep melody and a song that is timeless as we feel the hurt of loneliness and understand the begging for forgiveness as it is part of our own life’s journey. It is why we are the People We Become”. Read the rest of the review HERE

Catfish – Broken Man – Independent:Broken Man is definitely not Broken giving contemporary British Blues that resonates curling around your speakers with sparkling class. …  an album early on in the year that has to be a contender for Blues Album of 2017. This is a blues gem that is multi-faceted and a prism of blue hues that hits you from every direction.” Read the rest of the review HERE

Matt AndersenHonest ManTrue North Records: … The music has a freshness, with a twist of retro and crosses across genres if you love a good song, superb vocals and interesting melodies then Honest Man will be a much-loved addition to your collection of music that is personal and political.” Read the rest of the review HERE

Thorbjorn Risager & The Black Tornado – Change My Game – RUF: “…a studio album that sets down clearly the intent that Thorbjørn Risager & The Black Tornado have once again picked up the baton of creativity and the game has changed for them building on their previous catalogue …. full of freshness as all the skills, dexterity and feel of the eight musicians are used to maximise the blues, rocking funky sound that flows through the album.” Read the rest of the review HERE

 

Check out the albums reviewed by Bluesdoodles by clicking  Recorded Music Link

 

This Is The Life I Choose Says Zoe Schwarz Latest Album

This Is The Life I Choose Says Zoe Schwarz Latest Album

 

 This Is The Life I Choose Says Zoe Schwarz Latest Album

 

 

With three studio albums under Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion’s belt the fourth is definitely not running out of steam, it is full throttle blues. The blues are stylish, a mix of pathos and humour, reflections and looking forward, sadness and hints of joy.

With hundreds of gigs notched up on the road, the miles piling up all shows on an album that reflects the lifestyle of the band This Is the Life I Choose, making music that pleases and makes you sit up and listen. Zoe and the band are getting noticed, the blues is distinctive, fresh and modern without gimmicks and bells but some excellent guitar work from Rob Koral, The pairing of Pete and Paul on Hammond and Drums respectively providing the deep grooves that allow Zoe’s vocals to sparkle. The whole album has a fiery energy and the addition of Sax from Ian Ellis and Andy Urquhart on Trumpet on some of the tracks makes those three tracks pop with a burst of brass power.

Zoe opens with Hold On, and yes we will as she and the band are going to take you on a musical high-ride experience blending blues, jazz and soul into an explosive musical experience.  The whole album has a relaxed feel of a singer and band in harmony with the music they are playing.  The music has a freedom and sense of purpose from the off with the instrumental breaks a listening delight and then the sultry distinctive vocals that are Zoe pulls the track together with lyrics that have something to say.

The second track has a cheeky acoustic beat with lyrics delivered with ironic humour as Zoe sings “high-ho life is sweet because my baby said so” despite being broke, no money to get to a gig, the sax adds to the feeling of desperation of swimming against the tide but we will get there with the support of people we love. The infectious beat and movement through the music continues with People with a dancing/marching beat as the percussion drives the melodic vocals forward with purpose. Every track has a nuanced turn of phrase the fun of delivering the music comes through with the up-lifting I Wanna Get Something Started With You, blues shuffling adds textures and optimistic tones fitting in with the lyrics that ‘Today Is going to be a good day’.

The title track is a reflection of the life of artists, the drive and dedication required to make a success with your own artistry in a corporate environment. Zoe Schwarz Blues Commotion have chosen the blues they want to play, remained true to it and this is an album that delivers. No song is constrained by a set length some are shorter others longer depending on the feel of the music. The feel for me is very very good.

The album has a deep connection with all sides of humanity the eleven originals drawing lyrics from in the main the winning partnership of Zoe Schwarz & Rob Koral with others written by other sources including Pete Feenstra, with his words shaping No Money In My Pocket and Call Of The Night. The mood changes with a harder edge, the riffs are strong raw with anger reflected in Zoe’s snarl as she spits out the lyrics. This number may be surprising for some but as Zoe says “but they shouldn’t be; I was a big Clash and Stranglers fan”…  The poetic shaping of the Call Of The Night is reflected in the stripped down acoustic tone. The poem is allowed to be the star as a hypnotic melody pulls you deep into the night. Stunning.

The album closes with two bonus tracks, first Jack Bruce’s We’re Going Wrong and closing with Feeling Good, summing up perfectly how you feel having listened to Zoe Schwarz Blues Commotion. A commotion everyone will enjoy.

Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion – This is The Life I Choose – 33 Records

 

TENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. Hold On
  2. My Baby Told Me So
  3. People
  4. Broken
  5. I Wanna Get Something Started With You
  6. Free From You
  7. This is the Life I Choose
  8. Exit
  9. I Can’t Live like That
  10. No Money In My Pocket
  11. Call Of The Night
  12. We’re Going Wrong
  13. Feeling Good

This Is The Life I Choose Says Zoe Schwarz Latest Album

Eric Gales Announces 2017 UK/EU TOUR

Eric Gales Announces 2017 UK/EU TOUR

ERIC GALES
ANNOUNCES 2017 UK/EU TOUR

Weds 24 May – Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh UK TICKETS
Thurs 25 May – The Ferry, Glasgow UK TICKETS
Fri 26 May – Arlington Arts, Newbury UK TICKETS
Sat 27 May – Worthing Pier South Pavillion, Worthing UK TICKETS
Sun 28 May – Mr Kyps, Bournemouth UK TICKETS
Mon 29 May – Sage, Gateshead UK –
Weds 31 May – Robin 2, Wolverhampton UK TICKETS
Fri 2 Jun – Nell’s Jazz & Blues, London UK w/special guest Gary Hoey TICKETS
Sat 3 Jun – Grolsch Festival – Shoppingen, GERMANY – TICKETS
Weds 7 Jun – Tonelades – Valencia, SPAIN – TICKETS
Fri 9 Jun – Leganes Blues Festival South Side – Leganes, SPAIN – TICKETS
Sun 30 Jul – Ramblin’ Man Fair  UK w/ Supersonic Blues Machine TICKETS

 Bluesdoodles reviewed Middle Of The Road – No doubting that Eric Gales is back producing the best music yet. Blues guitar with attitude, lyrics with a heartfelt understanding of the myriad emotions this album lays bare for the listener to explore and understand ….. Read the rest HERE

 New album ‘Middle of the Road’ OUT NOW via Provogue/Mascot Group

Check out ‘Boogie Man’ ft Gary Clark Jr:

“One of the best, if not the best guitar player in the world” Joe Bonamassa
“He is absolutely incredible” Carlos Santana
“How Eric Gales isn’t the hugest name in rock guitar is a total mystery” Dave Navarro
“This guy could be the best player on Earth” Mark Tremonti
“Sounds like ZZ Top covering Stevie Wonder…If you’re looking for the blues album of 2017. This is going to be very hard to beat”  Total Guitar 5/5
“The injection of danger and unpredictability that the blues-rock scene desperately needs…some of his best songs yet” Guitar & Bass 8/10
“The more you listen to it the more the brilliance of Eric Gales becomes apparent” Powerplay

Eric Gales Announces 2017 UK/EU TOUR

Honest Man Canadian Matt Andersen Beguiling Songs Soulful Vocals

Honest Man Canadian Matt Andersen Beguiling Songs Soulful Vocals

Honest Man Canadian Matt Andersen Beguiling Songs Soulful Vocals

 

 

The latest melodic, politically charged outpouring from Canadian Matt Andersen is full of tonal depths and interest. Acoustic at the heart filled out with rhythmic beats deep keyboard chords and brass Honest Man goes Pop with rhythmic soul.

This is Matt Andersen, lighter in tone having fun as he explores new territory on Honest Man. In the new songs, Matt combines his soulful gospel-rich voice with the power of Commissioner Gordon. “Gordon has worked with so many different people, like Santana and Quincy Jones, on so many historic albums,” says Andersen. “He has such a great approach and was able to tie-­in so many new ideas to what I’ve done in the past without losing touch with my sound.”

This is Matt Andersen with a spring in his fingers moving on from the guitar driven acoustic wealth of Coal Mining Blues, he has created a fresh and bright Honest Man. Opening with Break Away, one thing for certain is that from the first to the last you will not want to break away from the music that Matt is producing.  Opening with upbeat with cascading chords from the organ and country fuelled sound with the hint of reggae in the beat your feet will connect you to the rhythms and your soul will soar with the vocals.

The title track, co-­written with Chris Kirby, was inspired by a US political cartoon. Has a deep rhythmic pull with the trumpet pushing the melody on and Matt’s gospel-toned vocals adding blues to Honest Man as politics are explored. The movers and shakers may be turning their backs on Matt we certainly won’t be. The music as he explores both the personal and the political has an honest pull music that is of and for the times we are all wading through.

Let’s Get Back,  is an anthem for now as you realise things have changed and not necessarily for the better how we can find our way back in a soul of searing demanding vocals with the cadences of Warren Haynes with added brass acting as the cheerleaders.  The album touches on the questions posed post elections and referendums, what is the truth or Who Are We Listening To? How social media influences and how we can make up our own minds with honest information.

For the personal side of Matt as the Honest Man check out, I’m Giving In, stripped back combination of piano and vocals works perfectly on this ballad as he considers making a commitment. Then we continue with the personal journey with All the Way, written with Gordie Sampson, has a dance beat that swings with energy as Matt sings about taking the step and committing to a relationship with all the emotions, fears and hope this journey will take your life on.

A new branch of the  Matt Andersen musical journey is being formed in Honest Man. Across the ten tracks styles are explored and sounds are experimented with. The important thing is the essence of Matt Andersen is never lost or drowned out by the new approach. The music has a freshness, with a twist of retro and crosses across genres if you love a good song, superb vocals and interesting melodies then Honest Man will be a much-loved addition to your collection of music that is personal and political.

Honest Man Canadian Matt Andersen Beguiling Songs Soulful Vocals

Matt AndersenHonest ManTrue North Records

TENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

 

Track Listing

  1. Break Away
  2. The Gift
  3. Honest Man
  4. I’m Giving In
  5. Quiet Company
  6. Let’s Get Back
  7. All The Way
  8. Last Surrender
  9. Who Are You Listening To?
  10. One Good Song

Catch Matt Andersen European Tour 2017

bringing to you his

Honest Man Canadian Matt Andersen Beguiling Songs Soulful Vocals

Honest Man Canadian Matt Andersen Beguiling Songs Soulful Vocals

Thunder Storming album Rip It Up Rocks the Speakers

Thunder Storming album Rip It Up Rocks the Speakers

Thunder Storming album Rip It Up Rocks the Speakers

Whatever the weather, whatever your mood, you know when Thunder is in the air pouring from the speaker then you are in for a good time. I dare you to listen to Rip It Up without getting up and dancing around, tapping your feet and letting the Thunder vibe flow through your veins making Rip It Up a rocking good feel good listen. You would expect no less from Danny Bowes and the band.

Following on from the success of Wonderdays, the quintet are delivering rock that has a brightness that belies the fact that they have been producing records for twenty-seven years. Rip It Up is youthful and fun to listen to with a diverse range of tones and approaches to the lyrics that showcase the full vocal range of frontman Danny Bowes.  Thunder is a band with the musicians playing so much more than a platform for Danny vocals. Go to any Thunder gig and the chant of Harry, Harry for the drummer is evidence of Thunders roar.

Opening with No One Gets Out Alive, we are introduced to the expected Thunder sound Garry James sticks pounding like Thors hammer cymbals and skin. The celebration of duelling with guitars of Luke Morley and Ben Matthews. Completing the explosive power id the exquisite bass lines of Chris Childs pull the melody along so we don’t care that they are telling us the No One Gets Out Alive! We are ready to seize the moment with the band and enjoy the album clapping your hands in pure joy.

The title track is like an old friend familiar through radio play. Yes, do as you are told turn the volume up and Rip It Up with your rocking friends Thunder. Tempo changes with curling guitar riff and a blues-fueled rock number that despite its title is fun to listen to. The lyrics though are a salutatory warning of the dangers of party scenes and hedonism.  The girl She Likes Cocaine is a must listen strong lyrics, instrumentation and cymbal work that rings with the purity of a bell in the clear air after a storm.  Now, for the ballad Right From The Start, which is accomplished with lead breaks that are juicy full and weave the emotions of Danny’s singing another track that works as the realisation that this is a band recording at the top of their game. This is crafted rock full of difference and nuances. Every track has its highlights and will always receive a thunderous applause from Thunder fans.

The album is half way through taking shape as the rock is styled and reformed to suit the moment. Heartbreak Hurricane, following on from the cowbell spectacular of Shakedown. A ballad full of emotional pain, never maudlin as the instruments raise the tempo behind the searing vocals from Danny. Then there is Rock. It is good with The Enemy Inside and Tumbling Down. You now that this is a British Band playing the rock they love and understand, loud fast and melodic with an edge from the lyrics.  Closing out with There’s Always A Loser, Harry’s drums lay down the beat simple and powerful in its intent. Once again it as a hauntingly beautiful tone of Danny’s vocals and lyrics centre stage emotional charged. The track builds with guitar hooks and licks that curl and wrap There’s Always A Loser a comfort blanket of Rock. The lead break is searing as the pain is reflected for Danny to sing the lyrics as the album fades. Turn it up and play again. With eleven immense tracks, with every listen you will hear a new lyric, another drum roll and guitar lick.

Rip It Up will never be a boring listen.  Why? This may be Thunder’s eleventh studio album they a have definitely roared out of the studio with Rip It Up. An album for Thunder fans who have followed them over three decades and for those discovering them at today. Thunder’s live performances are always a stormy adrenalin fun filled extravaganza with these new tracks add to the armoury live shows will still Rip It Up as new fans come under Thunder’s rock spell.

Thunder Rip It UpearMUSIC

TEN pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. No One Gets Out Alive
  2. Rip It Up
  3. She Likes Cocaine
  4. Right From the Start
  5. Shakedown
  6. Heartbreak Hurricane
  7. In Another Life
  8. The Chosen One
  9. The Enemy Inside
  10. Tumbling Down
  11. There’s Always A Loser

Available Audio Cd & Deluxe Editions Audio / Vinyl HERE

Erja Lyytinen Exciting Blues Ensures Listeners Stolen Hearts

Erja Lyytinen Exciting Blues Ensures Listeners Stolen Hearts

Erja Lyytinen Exciting Blues Ensures Listeners Stolen Hearts

 

The release of her tenth studio album, Stolen Hearts, follows on from two critically claimed albums, Live in London and her tribute to Elmore James, her last studio album, The Sky Is Crying. The eleven track album has been lovingly created with production that is cooking the wondrous talent that is Erja Lyytinen. Recorded in two countries firstly in Helsinki at Sonic Pump Studios, then London where Chris Kinsey has used his breathtaking skills at State of the Ark Studios a hone Stolen Hearts into a standout album.   Creating a blues-rock infused album full of textures, tones and another side of Erja’s immense musical talents to make acquaintance with on Stolen Hearts.

Stolen Hearts, will steal your musical soul, Erja has stretched her wings they shimmer with the blues and more. The album is confident, not looking over one shoulder to Blues music of the past but singing into the unknown as the album explores a wider range of tones.  A crossover album striding across genres pushing them aside, making the music accessible to lovers of singers who sing powerful songs with gut-wrenching twisted guitar and deep and moody rhythms.  Having listened to the album a number of times it grows and grows as new nuances are heard, different lines of lyric pop out and connect.

Every track is different some are stronger but none are weak. My thoughts on a handful the rest I leave for you to explore and describe in your own words. Opening with the title track, a gentle intro that picks up as a backdrop of percussive grooves for Erja’s vocals to rule as queen of the stolen heart.  The edgy lyrics of a man-eater portrayed by a women who has the band at her fingertips and the guitar’s six-strings bend to her will on solos that create the landscape of the opening track. Laying down the intent this is an album that is another step in Erja’s journey as she weaves her spell over the blues of every hue.  Second track in and we have a rocking good time tempo, redolent of Led Zeppelin but one-hundred percent Lyytinen. The bass acts as the Rocking Chair going back and forth as the seven verses unfold. The gripping speed and urgency reflects the lyrics about personal growth, how we should find peace and pride with what we have done and reflect in our Rocking Chair.

Co-written with guitarist Alan Darby, a single from the album, 24 Angels has deep melodies and breathy delivery as she flirts with the mic. Radio play should be a certainty with a track that fuses lyrics and vocals that allow the guitar to fly with the angels as we are lifted up with blues fuelled adrenalin.

Half way through you are as the listener pulsating with the energy power and poetry of Stolen Hearts. With a deep blue driving rhythm, Black Ocean is full of heavy riffs, solid repeated unchanging like waves crashing against a granite cliff. We know it is dangerous but we have to listen to Black Ocean with a Prog Rock feel, but never inaccessible. This is progressive-blues Lyytinen style. The keys add a soothing texture and the twin guitars add layers of sound that never overpower the lyrics and Erja’s vocals unless it is the emotional tension within the guitar solo.

The dreamy tempo of keys and guitars of Silver Stones, cooling the album down with melodies that etheral showing a vulnerability as the lyrics explore the pain of mental health and fantasy worlds we create and get lost in. The album explores human experiences and is up-tempo and reflective, we have rock and slow blues, slide guitar all mixed so that each track flows and showcases the depths of Erja Lyytinen’s deep luminescent talent. Closing with a slow acoustic feeling number Broken Eyes a song for piano and vocals. The power of the two create a love song we have all experienced. The only answer as the last notes fade is listen and explore Stolen Hearts again. Why? Stolen Hearts is an album of musical maturity that will remain a firm favourite for years to come in collections of lovers of contemporary blues without boundaries.

 

Erja Lyytinen’s Stolen Hearts is released on April 7th on Tuohi Records.

TEN pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. Stolen Hearts
  2. Rocking Chair
  3. Love Laboratory
  4. 24 Angels
  5. Black Ocean
  6. Slowly Burning
  7. Lovers Novels
  8. Silver Stones
  9. Awakening
  10. City of Angels
  11. Broken Eyes

ERJA LYYTINEN – UK TOUR DATES APRIL 2017
Square & Compass, Ilminster – Sunday 9th April 2017 – Box Office – 01823 480 467
The 100 Club – Tuesday 11th April 2017 Record Release Party  – WeGotTickets.com
Worthing Pier Southern Pavilion – Wednesday 12th April SeeTickets.com and Ents24
Durham Gala Theatre, Durham – Thursday 13th April 2017  Durham Gala Theatre
HRH – Blues Festival, O2 Academy Sheffield – Saturday 15th April 2017 HRHBlues

Booked your tickets now listen to 24 Angels from the forthcoming album Stolen Hearts

Catfish the album Broken Man Making January Complete

Catfish the album Broken Man Making January Complete

 

Catfish the album Broken Man
Making January Complete

Catfish, that band creating a blue purring hum of pleasure whenever and wherever they play live. Catfish swims deep into the swirling maelstrom that is modern blues. The album is not a tribute or a painting by musical numbers of blues steps from the past it is influenced by music that connects to the band. With ten tracks with the only cover closing the album out. It is not from any blues back catalogue it is Foy Vance’s, Make It Rain. Included why? You ask, then having not seen a live performance of a track that moves people to tears holding the audience spellbound as the highlight of the evening unfolds.  Broken Man is not the band’s debut recording BUT more importantly, it is the first that is predominately their own work, setting down a high water mark.

Opening with Hit The Ground Running, Catfish certainly does with a driving upbeat fast blues ride. Introducing the depth of the band from Matt Long’s bluesy vocals and stinging guitar to a rhythm section that augments adding a rattlesnake sting to the music are bassist Dusty Bones and drummer Kevin Yates. Completing the quartet is Paul Long’s keys that dance with his vocals adding another vocal tone when he takes the lead.  The blues driven tone continues with Sometime Alone, where the power of Matt’s guitar shows that the six-strings can be played without shredding the skin of your finger and as a result the time, breath between chords gives the instrument colour and complexity. The keys add another player of chords with higher pitch and rolling, bending with the strings and rhythm section. This is music that conjures shapes and interest, pure pleasure like lying back on a warm summers day looking into a blues sky and conjuring patterns and shapes from clouds as they scurry past.

The tempo slows, the blue is darkening with dusky shadows as Matt sings All I Ask Of You, played with maturity and control the warmth of studio sound permeates throughout the album reflecting the live sound of Catfish. The slow piano and vocals in Part As Strangers, a soulful ballad with special guest Paul Jones adding his Harp sparkle. Blues stripped back to it is key components emotionally charged.  Following this is the title track, Broken Man a long track for a blues album at a shade over eight minutes, is this reflecting Matt’s love of Prog Rock I wonder. This is blues fuzzy, with a porch-step gravelly opening launching into an anthem of a track. A number praising the blues as the tones roll down from the hill country into the delta picking up and shaping the chords into a British blues hullabaloo of delight.  The lyrics are shaped by a darker guitar and keys as we are falling down under the Catfish spell.

Broken Man is definitely not Broken giving contemporary British Blues that resonates curling around your speakers with sparkling class. Catfish delight you when you hear them live, and with the songwriting glory that is Broken Man we have an album early on in the year that has to be a contender for Blues Album of 2017. This is a blues gem that is multi-faceted and a prism of blue hues that hits you from every direction.

TEN pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. Hit The Ground Running
  2. Leading Me On
  3. Some Time Alone
  4. All I Ask Of You
  5. Never Go Back
  6. Better Days
  7. Part As Strangers
  8. Broken Man
  9. Big Shot
  10. Make It Rain