The Night Siren Steve Hackett Charms St David’s Hall Cardiff
Tonight the last Friday of April the packed St David’s Hall was treated to a programme of two halves. A musical programme of two movements. The first Prog Rock modern, progressive and pertinent as Steve Hackettunveiled live numbers from his stunning album The Night Siren and dipping onto four of his many solo albums. The second helping on this musical palette of delights was a revisiting of Genesis, the majority drawn from Wind and Wuthering celebrating forty years since its release.
For two hours, reality suspended as St David’s Hall was bathed in the multi-instrumental tones and textures created by Steve Hackett and the musicians that surround him. With an array of wind instruments including flute, penny whistle and soprano sax, keys, and a mixture of electronic wizardry, Rob Townsend; behind him surround by keys Roger King; the rhythm section of Gary O’Toole behind a sparkling shield of cymbals and bassist Nick Beggs with fretless and twin-necked instruments; and joining the stage for the second half vocalist Nad Sylvan.
With a discography full of depth and interest the night started with a dip into his third solo album Spectral Mornings and Every Day with the soprano sax adding brightness and colour we knew this wasn’t going to be an everyday performance we were in for something special. Gently easing us in with the familiar we were soon hearing the new album, the dramatic instrumental El Niňo so early on a number that was going to be one of the many highlights of the evening. The music from the instruments was woven in to a sonic technicolour coat of shape and form, prog rock that enthralled, informs and takes you deep within yourself. Three other tracks from the Night Siren were incorporated into the first set, as he stepped back into the past The Steppes fitted seamlessly into the collection with its Eastern feel.
The light show throughout added a sense of drama as the swirling patterns fell across the stage then up through the tiers that form the many faceted auditorium of St David’s Hall. As we stepped into The Skeleton Gallery the music live reinforcing the power of Steve Hackett’s latest recording and then to the album’s opening track Behind The Smoke. With a political comment about Brexit, an audience divided Steve reminded us that his lineage included Polish refugees. He sang the lyrics that explore the despair of the displaced and how borders contain. Whilst the music crossed all boundaries finding a common coming together through the power of the musical note tonight in Cardiff. This emotional masterpiece should be the earworm that dictates our walk through life and how we meet and greet strangers from a different place. Last visit to the album is Serpentine, dedicated to his father and gentler times. Inspired by his father selling paintings in Hyde Park, London. Closing out the set with Rise Again and Shadow Of The Hierophant; with Nick Beggs sitting on the floor using his bass pedals creating a spellbinding atmosphere. We had been on a voyage as acolytes and the feet of superb musicians who deliver prog rock that is mesmerizing, entertaining and often beautiful music, that cascades and falls away leaving a thoughtful phrase or question.
The Second set, was much anticipated with the Cardiff crowd looking forward to old favourites and hearing Wind & Wuthering tracks live once again. Opening with Eleventh Earl of Mar we were once again introduced to the vocals of Nad Sylvan. They are a beguiling mix of Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins yet never pale imitations Nad brings his own sonic quality and vocal interpretations to every number. The cheer for One For the Vine, when announced was loud and very happy. Cardiff prog rockers were delighted. Then the atmosphere changed as we were treated to an Acoustic Noodle, Steve on stage with acoustic guitar joined by the band at the end a quiet interlude, with classical guitar playing, hints of flamenco and a moment of reflection. The quiet was broken with Blood on the Rooftops, and with Inside Out written by Phil Collins, an early lyric that was left off the final cut of Wind And Wuthering; a Cinderella song quipped Hackett, included tonight as it fits in with the rest. Closing out the set that highlighted the power of Genesis was Musical Box, a wonderful atmospheric number, Nad, using the tambourine to great effect as he added drama to the lyrics. Tonight was a great nostalgic set of Genesis classics.
St David’s Hall was resplendent in the glow of Prog Rock from Steve Hackett and his band of musicians, we had been bathed in lights of every hue and taken on a journey through the power of lyrics and the complexities of multi-instruments exploring the notes of the octaves. The sound was superb, the audience attentive and as one rose as The Musical Box faded. The encore the perfect Genesis titled number Los Endos. This must not be the end, Steve Hackett and his Progressive Rock is welcome back in town anytime. For me I enjoyed the reminiscent quality of the Genesis numbers, they are familiar and safe, BUT the new solo numbers have an edge and intimacy they are modernity looking forward not back.
The tour continues check out dates and venues HERE A musical journey to be enjoyed and definitely not missed!
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.
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.
The continuing popularity of former Genesis guitarist and prog legend Steve Hackett is in no doubt as 4 dates on his latest 15-date UK tour have already sold out. They are in Cambridge, Reading, London & Manchester. Tickets for the remaining eleven gigs in April & May are going fast.
Steve will also be introducing fans to music from his new studio albumThe Night Siren..
Truly a show not to be missed!
SOLUTION GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!!! From My Tickets or Box Offices
It’s 40 years since Hackett recorded his last studio album with prog giants Genesis before leaving the band to embark on his highly successful solo career. That album was Wind and Wuthering. Now Steve and his incredible band celebrate this classic work’s 40th anniversary by treating audiences to thrilling renditions of tracks from the album.
The show features more Genesis gems, including fan favourites such as ‘The Musical Box’, as well as Genesis tracks ‘Inside & Out’ (released on an EP shortly after Wind & Wuthering) and ‘One for the Vine’ which have never been performed by Steve and his band until now.
Steve’s brilliance, of course, is not limited to his years with Genesis and the show will include plenty of ‘Classic Hackett’ from his remarkable solo catalogue, including popular hits such as ‘The Steppes’, ‘Serpentine’, ‘Every Day’ and the first ever live performance of ‘Rise Again’ from his 1999 album Darktown.
“I’m thrilled to bring my latest show of Genesis and Hackett numbers to the UK, adding additional numbers such as ‘One for the Vine’ and celebrating the 40th anniversary of ‘Wind and Wuthering’, one of my favourite Genesis albums and popular with Genesis fans the world over…” Steve Hackett
But Steve isn’t the only one excited by this latest live offering… the American leg of the “Genesis Revisited with Classic Hackett” tour has received consistently excellent reviews from media across the USA:
All in all, an evening of flawlessly performed music played to a very appreciative audience of prog fans who rarely get to see this genre of music played live in this day and age as well as it was this evening. Elmore Magazine
Steve Hackett was masterful in revisiting Genesis, unfurling solo gems in Grand Rapids. Local Spins Magazine
Hackett’s soaring guitar work still sounded as vibrant that evening as it did nearly 50 years ago when he first joined Genesis. With a calm and almost stoic demeanour that contrasted him from the more flamboyant axe masters, Hackett showed a dexterity and versatility in his performances, from strumming Latin-style acoustic to tapping on the electric numbers. Ultimate Classic Rock
Weds 24 May – Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh UK TICKETS Thurs 25 May – The Ferry, Glasgow UKTICKETS 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 reviewedMiddle 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
“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
Erja Lyytinen Talking about
Stolen Hearts and Being On Tour
BD:Hi Erja hope you are well, thanks for taking time to speak to Bluesdoodles, lots happening new album Stolen Hearts released 7th April and lots of touring including the UK from 9th April
EL: Really well thank you it is great to catch up with you again Liz.
BD: Before we talk lyrics, songs and touring how is life back in Finland juggling being Queen of The Slide Guitar with being a Mother
EL: Basically lots of balancing. Right now the twins are in daycare. Touring needs to be planned just organising life as off on a mini tour of Germany & Holland. It is all a rollercoaster ride often rather manic but definitely fun. You just have to jump-in and hope it all goes smoothly, often it doesn’t and you just go with the flow, that way you minimise the stress. Society and others have high expectations, which we are expected to obey. That we are all brilliant multi-taskers. Well, sometimes you have to concentrate on one thing and let the rest wait. The twins are used to me touring I have been doing it since they were two and half months old. February was a period of intense touring across Scandinavia with 24 shows in 27 days it was rather manic, we got through. Sometimes when I am in Finland the children can come on tour with me which is fun. I have a nanny to help and the twins love sitting in on the sound checks, playing with guitars we have really fun moments making lots of memories. I am a musician, a rock star but when I get home after a tour I am Mama again. The secret is to be versatile and I am definitely super happy. So glad I had the courage to have children, continue my musical journey one thing for certain is three years on I am a different person motherhood has definitely changed me.
BD: Stolen Hearts, your tenth album. Has a different shape to your Live In London and studio The Sky Is Crying. With eleven tracks that shimmer with blues that rock. Tell us about the thinking behind the album?
EL: Tenth album is definitely not a scary place to be. My expectations through life was that I would record lots of music. In fact, Number 10 does feel a good figure. This one feels like me, it is honest and a way for me to open up on the album. Reflects my life since motherhood and my life over the last two and half years has changed the way I look at things. I now try not to stress, not to be perfect. By the same token, I do lots of things and want to be good at what I do. On the album, this new feeling of relaxedness comes out. I now really enjoy being on stage, I now can open up and share. The album is very personal, the lyrics are heartbreaking stories. It is the end of a period of my life when I had the feeling that everything was going to collapse, eventually, it did, it took time to get out of that dark place. Music became my analyst where I could analyse my thoughts and feelings. This process deepened my musical expressions, now I am not afraid of being vulnerable, not afraid of being weak through that knowledge I have found an inner strength.
BD: You took the decision to record the album in two countries your homeland Finland and then U.K. Was it the lure of Chris Kempsey at the State of The Ark Studios?
EL: We recorded the backing tracks in Helsinki, some of the songs I had recorded one and half years ago and I needed to give myself more time as they didn’t sound right. We used Sonic Pump studios in Helsinki it is new with energetic young guys running the studio. Perfect place to record the backing tracks with the band. I wanted to take the album to the next level to give something new. Not just go to my home studio for the vocals and guitar, thought it would be nice to go abroad. I love England, I sing in English, so be good to have a producer who could check out my lyrics and pronunciation. It is so easy to phrase words that should be beautiful but mean something else English is so complicated with sayings and double meanings. I spoke to Alan Darby who is the songwriter I worked with in 24 Angels, which has a brilliant video. He suggested Chris, I checked out his CV and was blown away what an amazing history behind him having worked with so many Rock greats including The Rolling Stones, Peter Frampton and Bad Company. I contacted him and we started emailing, sent a demo from my home studio of rough over dubs. He instantly messaged back lets do it. He was so active in the 70’s & 80’s and the album was using lots of sounds from that era.
We went through studios and State Of The Ark was available it was cool a small boutique studio, with a homely atmosphere. It was an amazing experience from the first to the last track. I would recommend that everyone explores new soul mates in music it is invigorating.
BD:When reviewing the album, on the first listen what struck me was the range of tones and styles across the album from Heavy, brooding Rocking Chair (a new sound for Erja) through to the acoustic feel of Broken Eyes and the prog of Black Ocean. The diversity works there is a continuity in the lyrics, the emotional journey and the heartbeat of the blues ensures they all make sense. How did you come to create such different sounds and take the decision to record them?
EL: Yes, you are right it is the power of the lyrics they give the whole album a sense of context. I had other songs left out these were the ones that worked brilliant together. The album is about sadness, heartbreak, fear of loss, frustrations. Into the personal mix there is hope, happiness lust and sex. I cried when I listened to the whole finished album the emotions are so close to me they are personal. I did for a moment consider dropping Broken Eyes as it is a different tone from the rest but then I realised that it fitted perfectly lyrically. The lyrics are the link but Chris Kempsey is the genius that mixed the album. The engineer that mixes the album can either kill it or make it. Chris used a mix of Pro Tools and Analogue a mix of old and new reflecting the essence of the album. Old rock is behind the music, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix. I decided to forget about the radio, I am not pop, so like the bands of the seventies if the track is seven minutes like Black Ocean it stays that length, I wanted the long killer guitar solos. It is my music, my album and it was a joy to work with Chris. The mastering done at Air studios started by Beatles producer George Martin; working with Ray Staff was a professional joy. What a humble, lovely guy who had mastered icons including Bowie.
BD: 24 Angels, a single from the album, how do you make the decision on which track works as a standalone track? This number Co-written with Alan Darby, certainly sounds like your vocals are flirting with the mic and blues guitar that rocks?
EL: This track was the second, the first single was the title track Stolen Hearts last autumn to boost my tour last year and highlight the forthcoming album. The album was planned to be released earlier with crowdfunding campaign but for various reason it was delayed that is the way often in the music world. 24 Angels is a story worthwhile telling to people with pictures. It is multi-dimensional with lyrics that are about morality and forgiveness; about doing something to someone or someone doing something to you and the resulting suffering.
In the video, a relationship ends in a fight with hints of him dying in a car crash. It is that mix of forgiveness and regrets. Whilst writing the lyrics I was thinking of people walking the last walk on death row would you be regretting, how much you would suffer do you understand all that when walking the path. When I write I go to the very extremes. I have now opened that box and have for the first time explained my thinking behind my songwriting. This one I co-wrote with Alan Darby, a few years back he came up with the lyrics for the chorus ‘Bring me water, make me stronger’. He also put his emotions into the song. There were only simple chords before Alan jumped in and worked on the Erja idea. He made it rock more which really works. He is a sensitive guy with a long experience in songwriting for many including Eric Clapton & Bonnie Raitt among others.
BD: With the album taking you on new directions where are you planning to take us on the next road in Erja’s musical journey?
EL: Blues will always be at the heart of my music. I mainly listen to blues at home. But I like to make it modern for these times. It is more acceptable to do blues differently. There is a blues revival, with European invasion into blues music. I will always have my own style, I do not want to go back for one thing, it is impossible to get the sound nowadays. I am involved in a Jimi Hendrix tribute in May already sold 1000 seats. The show will be a celebration of fifty years since he visited Helsinki.
In music, you meet people and we all know that Rock n Roll can kill you. You have to take care of yourself so take care of myself try and eat healthy. Returning home after 31 shows in 37 days where you have no time for sports. It is important that you take it easy and do exercise take care of your heart physically and spiritually.
Now I have opened Erja’s box I have a couple of songs in the style of Stolen Hearts and have some ideas for the next album but they are my thoughts at the moment. I feel really strong about my writing new stuff at the moment.
BD: Having toured the new album, I believe you had a February launch date in Scandinavia. Do you have a personal favourite that really works on stage in front of an audience?
EL: I have had positive feedback in Scandinavia, where audiences can be a bit tight on the blues. I did wonder if they would like the new songs, a different Erja, but they seemed to like my new songs the edginess. So the feedback has been amazing. Personal favourite Black Ocean.
Looking forward to being back in the UK for five shows including launch party at 100 Club, London; HRH Blues and a double-header with your own Chantel McGregor. Hoping to be back to do more later on with a longer run of shows.
BD: Last time we finished with what your dream band would be this time – what are you listening to and what Erja Lyytinen track would you liked covered and by whom?
EL: Listening to Robert Randolph, his steel guitar sound is fabulous. Also, listening to John Mayer he is smooth, easy-going and Eric Johnson loving his new album EJ,
Who to cover my song What a question! It would have to be Stolen Hearts by Jimi Hendrix.
BD: Thank you for your time and looking forward to hearing the new numbers live at HRH in Sheffield.
Michael Schenker announces four UK concerts in November for his “Michael Schenker Fest” Tour that will reunite the original three M.S.G. vocalists, Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet and Robin McAuley, plus MSG musicians Steve Mann (guitar, keyboards), Chris Glen (bass) and Ted McKenna (drums).
Michael will be bringing his spectacular show of live Rock to London; Sheffield; Manchester and Hull.
Tickets for the Hull 12 noon on Friday 17th March (today).
Tickets for the London, Sheffield and Manchester shows goes on sale to the general public at 10am on Monday 20th March, but O2 Priority customers can take advantage of the pre-sale which starts at 12 noon on Friday 17th March (today).
Featuring the original MSG vocalists, Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet and Robin Macauley and MSG musicians, Steve Mann (guitar & keys); Chris Glenn (Bass); Ted Mckenna (drums)
If you have ever heard Michael Schenker play live these are dates not to be missed. The opportunity to hear live in a UK Venue his latest Fest, recorded in Tokyo a superb boxed set, however good is not the same as being in the concert Hall with the musicians. Read what Bluesdoodles said about the recording HERE
SHEPHERD’S BUSH EMPIRE, LONDON – THURS 2nd NOVEMBER 2017 12 noon Friday 17th March 2017 O2 Priority Pre-Sale HERE
General Sale 10:00 am on Monday 20th March 2017 HERE
ACADEMY SHEFFIELD – FRI 3rd NOVEMBER 2017
12 noon Friday 17th March 2017 O2 Priority Pre-Sale HERE
General Sale 10:00 am on Monday 20th March 2017 HERE
O2 RITZ, MANCHESTER – SAT 4th NOVEMBER 2017 O2 Priority Pre-Sale HERE
General Sale 10:00 am on Monday 20th March 2017 HERE
HULL CITY HALL – SUN 5th NOVEMBER 2017
General Sale 12:00 noon on Friday 17th March 2017 HERE
Michael Schenker says, “It’s a miracle that after all these years, a tour like this will take place with the original band members of “M.S.G.”. Being able to go back to those days and celebrate the music is an exciting experience for us, as well as for old and new fans. To being able to re-experience, and for the new audience to get a feel of what it was like, is incredibly enjoyable.”
Continues Schenker, “It’s an amazing feeling to have all of my M.S.G. Family from the ’80’s performing together and especially with Graham Bonnet, who I never got to play any concerts after our Assault Attack album that was originally released in 1982. Fortunately, being able to have the participation of original M.S.G. members including Gary Barden, Chris Glen (bass) and Ted McKenna (drums) being part of it, and to perform with Robin McAuley and Steve Mann (guitar, keyboards) again as well, is pretty awesome.”
For Oh Susanna 2017 Equals
New Album New Tour Dates
New Album – A Girl in Teen City
“Here is my story of A Girl in Teen City. Trying to find out who she is while trying to be something she isn’t. Falling in love, getting drunk, having her heart broken, hanging out with friends in bedrooms, basements and parking lots, sneaking into shows in burnt out warehouses, watching the waves, walking home over bridges and railroad tracks in all that endless rain.” Oh Susanna/Suzie Ungerleider
A Girl in Teen City reunites Suzie Ungerleider with producer Jim Bryson. Jim and Suzie collaborated on her previous release Namedropper, an album featuring the songs of Canada’s top songwriters written specifically for Oh Susanna to interpret. With six other critically-acclaimed albums of original songs in her carpet bag, Oh Susanna tells stories of troubled souls who rebel against their circumstances to attain a quiet dignity. They are outsiders, real and imagined, but rarely herself. This time, with the urging by her friend and co-conspirator, Jim Bryson, she embarked on a time machine to visit her teenage self in a sleepy port town that she thought no one had ever heard of.
The Juno-nominated and Genie award-winning Canadian songstress began performing as Oh Susanna in the mid-1990s, crafting a persona that matched the timeless qualities of her music, sounds that drew from the deep well off early 20th Century folk, country and blues, yet rooted in her finely-honed storytelling skills.
Oh Susanna · Spring 2017 UK Tour · April 19-27
Oh Susanna is touring the UK in April, including four special shows with Hannah Sanders & Ben Savage, which they’ll be performing in a trio format.
Thu 20 Sheffield – The Greystonesco-bill with Hannah Sanders & Ben Savage Fri 21 Saltaire, West Yorks –The Live Room, Caroline Social Club
Sat 22 Glasgow – The Admiral
Sun 23 Bury – The Metco-bill with Hannah Sanders & Ben Savage Tue 25 Hereford House Concert co-bill with Hannah Sanders & Ben Savage Wed 26 High Wycombe – Kingsmead House Concert
Thu 27 Basingstoke – The Forgeco-bill with Hannah Sanders & Ben Savage
Ready The Horses New Album By Jarrod Dickenson, takes you on a lyrical musical ride that you will want to repeat. Music and storytelling are in harmonious unison under the reins of Jarrod as he Ready the Horses. Opening with Faint of Heart is the acoustic guitar with percussive power and the Hammond adding warmth to a number that has its hooks deep into your musical soul. You want to listen to more, Jarrod’s influences reach deep into the Lone Star State, where he was born, with his immense talent he builds on traditions and creates a depth of tone and feeling of modern Country with the cleanness of freshly mown grass.
The ten numbers work with the change of textures and beats, through clever songwriting and imaginative instrumentation that builds and adding to the focus of Jarrod’s distinctive tuneful vocals. The timing on Take It From Me adds drama, integrity and searing emotions as the number builds. The tempo slows, with the duet of Your Heart Belongs To Me, the vocal duties are sung by husband and wife Jarrod and Claire. The guitar and vocals combine with lyrics creating a heavenly love song.
His Debut The Lonesome Traveller was critically acclaimed and for many, the second album is often a tricky beast. No problem for Jarrod Ready The Horses, the stallions are punching the air with delight ready to take you on an exhilarating Country gallop.
A trio of Jarrod style Americana with California, Gold Rush and A Cowboy & The Moon three songs three distinct sounds. California, retro in its acoustic gentleness, mesmeric in its simplicity. This is a tale of questions, do you still think of me even though I am in the past. Then we darken with a heavier growling Jarrod, with Gold Rush. The power of the number is barely contained, nothing is rushed we are stepping out on a journey with a bluesy feel that adds but never defines the number. Jarrod’s vocals are the gold in this Gold Rush, Anyone listing to the album will be all the richer for having Ready The Horses in their collection. The cowboy meets his horses with A Cowboy &The Moon, a dose of Tex Mex a ballad that explores the cowboy’s feelings.
Closing out the album of ten delicious sonic treats with I Won’t Quit., in which the vocals shape the lyrics with hurt, sorrow and pain as he has said the words all wrong. A ballad that lingers and connects. One thing is positive once heard you will never quit the Jarrod Dickenson sound.
The album from first note to last has an honest elegance and integrity in the shaping of the lyrics and the music. This has been added to by the excellent production and recording the core band live onto 2” tape as musicians of yesteryear did. Jarrod anecdotally recalls, “recording to tape produces a much warmer sound’” Yes, the sound is warm, emotions are heartfelt so Ready The Horses and listen to Jarrod’s distinctive vocals.
BD: Hi Dan hope you are well, thanks for taking time to speak to Bluesdoodles, we spoke last year on the release of Fight Another Day, now as you embark on a European tour we have a chance to revisit and explore the world of Dan Reed Network.
DR: Good thanks, we are in Norway and it is as cold as hell. That is a silly thing to say it is beautiful and snowy.
BD: How has your perspective changed since taking the time out travelling, studying and having a son?
DR: Biggest change was the birth of my son.He is so very cute, often mistaken for a girl with his long hair, people often still don’t connect when I say his name is Joshua. Having a child is all encompassing. It is so hard to describe the feeling the first time you hold the baby. There is a deepening of awareness, deepening of compassion, a child engulfs you with emotions of love and responsibility. My first responsibility is to raise them safely and then as they grow imparting lessons of gratitude, how to lead a good life, planting the seeds of who the child will grow into. It has made me a better human being. This runs through my lyrics as they reflect the path that you have left behind is so much more defined.
BD: Back touring Europe and hitting the U.K. in March. Before we talk about the 2017 tour with Fight Another Day. What were the highlights last year back on the road with the Network,
DR: Festivals are always fun and at Sweden Rock Festival, we were the first act on the stage on the second or third day after lots of partying. In an arena that holds twenty-thousand there were 300 in the rain. As the first song started the rain stopped and by the end of the set there were over 8,000 watching and it was exciting, energetic from the rain and gloomy skies we had music it was the best show. The coolest was playing back in our home town of Portland seeing so many familiar faces, lots of folks who have seen us play from the beginning from the making of the video for Ritual. It felt so good being back. Yes our knees hurt a bit with a few more aches and pains now after a performance but this is part of the challenge of a live performance and is definitely an excellent workout both mentally & physically. Funky rock is hard and needs the energy of the song; we achieved this at a live rehearsal at the Hard Rock Café rehearsing in front of an audience the energy of the audience feeds the performance you trade off the energy of each other it is a symbiotic relationship. It is hard being away from family and home when on the road the positive trade-off is you get rid of the tensions by playing the music, talking to the audience and the feeling that we are so lucky to be doing this.
BD: What’s your favourite track from your extensive back catalogue to perform live??
DR: Favourite track, the solo stuff I love playing it live acoustic can be harder with a need to put your energy into the meaning of the lyrics. From the album The Heat Salt of Joy and when the band sings A Capella Long Way To Go, it is magical honest lyrics, written with visions in the head. Writing lyrics need to go into a daydream and explore thoughts and emotions. Kurt Cobain was a tortured soul but wrote honest lyrics the most honest rock songs ever written.
BD: Now you are performing tracks from Fight Another Day live, how do you select tracks from the extensive back catalogue to meld the past with the now.
DR: It can be difficult singing the same songs over and over again. The key to not sounding mechanical, just going through the motions is twofold having a good time and play the music as if it is for the first time. Play your arses out never let it become a slog, enjoy the music build up the audience.
Mixing things up more and more. Including a Bruce Springstein style request. It is fun, surprising challenging the request could be for a ballad, like Stronger Than Steel in a part of a set we would never plan a ballad. We now have no set list we play the songs we want to play trying to vary the groove what feels best changing the tempo and topics covered from politics to sex!
The Set is like climbing a mountain range. With summits and valleys can build and build through the show with a high point in the set climaxing the show. Or can sing a mellow song reached the top now meditating and chilling.
BD:Last time we finished with what your dream band would be this time – what are you listening to and what Dan Reed Network track would you liked covered and by whom?
DR: Music that listening to at the moment D-A-D Danish rock originally named Disneyland After Dark but had to be renamed after The Walt Company threatened a lawsuit. D-A-D & DRN all the letters would just so love to open for them would be so inspirational. The poppy melodies and funky tone of Foster The People love the music they do not use any sequences and the evergreen band for me is Jamiroquai
BD: Thank you for your time and looking forward to Cardiff at The Globe on 5th March and hearing DNR live.
Dan Reed Network is back in the UK with his tour Get Your Tickets HERE.
Released Friday 14th April 2017 Available on CD, Download & Ltd Edition Vinyl
Pre-order the CD from Amazon UK
MARCH/APRIL UK & EUROPEAN TOUR
Krissy Matthews Band are set to embark on a UK and European tour in March and April to celebrate the release of their first live album “Live At Freak Valley”.
Released by Proper Records on Friday 14th April 2017, the live album was recorded at the Freak Valley Festival in Siegen, Germany on May 27, 2016. It really catches the adrenaline and pure excitement of the band in all their glory.
“Too many bands release “live records” but half of it is over dubbed in the studio and the f*** ups are erased,” says Matthews. “On Freak Valley you get the real deal. No overdubs.”
Continues Matthews: “I remember our Freak Valley show very well. It was the first show myself, Sam and Max did as a three piece. It was the first time I performed at a major “stoner rock” festival, and it was the first gig of our 2016 summer festival tour. We walked off stage smiling and had a fabulous time. Over the past twelve years of touring since I was 12, more and more fans have been asking me when I was going to release a live album. I knew it had to be around the corner. When I heard the recording of this show, I knew it was the one.”
The three bonus tracks on the album – Hit The Rock, Roadsick Blues and Bubbles And The SevenPhones, were recorded live from a concert Matthews performed at one of his favourite venues – Gerd’s Juke Joint in Joldelund, Germany during Spring 2016.
Originally from Oxford, Krissy’s band has often been described as an exciting, high octane, power rock trio steeped in blues roots. 24 year old Matthews has performed at some of Europe’s most iconic music venues including Ronnie Scott’s, Loreley, Tanzbrunnen and Festa Avante. He’s also opened for many high profile recording artists at the top of their game including Joe Bonamassa, Toto, Gregg Allman and Tedeschi Trucks Band.
“Matthews has delivered a varied and truly intoxicating take on the blues.” – – Rhythm & Booze
Krissy Matthews Band
Sam Weston (bass, vocals) Max Maxwell (drums, vocals) Krissy Matthews (guitar, vocals)
Tracks 1-8 recorded at Freak Valley Festival,
Siegen, Germany on 27th May 2016.
Bonus tracks 9-11 recorded live at Gerd’s Juke Joint in
Joldelund, Germany on 22nd April 2016.
Produced by Krissy Matthews
Mixed by Joerg Mohr at Roadhouse Productions, Bremen, Germany.
Mastered by Nils Voelcker at Access All Areas Studios, Bremen, Germany.
Krissy Matthews is endorsed by Patrick James Eggle Guitars,
Galli Strings, Klotz Cables, Blackstar Amplification
The Chambers, Folkestone – Thursday 30th March 2017 Tickets: Free Entry – Venue Tel: 01303 223 333
The Fiddler’s Elbow, London – Wednesday 19th April 2017 Tickets: £5 advance £8 door Book Online: EventBrite – Box Office: 0207 4853 269, 07877 798 233 Tring Blues Bar, Tring – Thursday 20th April 2017 Tickets: £6 entry on door
Venue Tel: 07713 450992
The Bear Club, Luton – Friday 21st April 2017 Tickets: £9 advance £10 door
Book Online: BearClub The Fleur De Lys, Didcot – Saturday 22nd April 2017 Tickets: £10 on door or call venue in advance
Box Office: 01235 813 247 Black Market, Mansfield – Sunday 23rd April 2017 Tickets: £5 on door – Box Office: 01623 842 105