CD Review: Sam Lewis ~ Waiting On You

Sam Lewis - 'Waiting On You' - cover (300dpi)


Sam Lewis
Waiting On You
Brash Music

Release Date 11th September 2015


From the first to the last note Sam Lewis has created for his second album, Waiting On You full of country music with soul, that is delicate, upbeat and very listenable as he churns up the emotions and harnesses the inherent energy of music! 3/4 Time opens the album with a smile as you click into the tempo and tune into the vocals that are smooth as cream poured over luscious strawberries kissed with the summer’s warmth. The title track is a quieter more thoughtful song given texture by the delights of The McCrary Sisters as backing vocals and the percussive beat of the drums acting as punctuation to the lyrics. The beat changes with Things Will Never Be The Same; the tempo has an urgency as the words cascade off Sam’s silver tongue and the catchy vocals will make this track a favourite for the radio DJ’s I am sure. The Acoustic guitar has a clarity and the blues is melded with the country rift giving a deep rooted feel to the music, there is a feeling of being forlorn but still fighting and this tension is accompanied by the piano keys picking out the mood as he is seen Reinventing The Blues.  Closing the album with Coming Home, sums up the album a feeling that this is music that is warm and safe. Sam is easy going will never frighten the audiences and his appeal will be wide as he crosses into a mainstream sound. What saves the album from just being nice is the clever instrumentation and arrangements as Sam has invited a wide range of Nashville’s finest including Darrell Scott (Steve Earle, Guy Clark, Robert Plant) who’s haunting lap-steel on Never Again is awesome, harmonica legend Mickey Raphael (Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Neil Young), keyboardist Gabe Dixon (Paul McCartney, Supertramp), and Nashville’s favourite vocal group, The McCrary Sisters (Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, etc.). This gives the album a depth of tone as the lexicon of country is explored this is a second album that will get Sam Lewis heard as his voice and musical integrity shine through and the album becomes a listen again favourite.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD SEVEN pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Sam Lewis - 'Waiting On You' (front & back cover)

CD Review: Blues Engine ~ The Quick and The Dirty

7713228Blues Engine
The Quick and The Dirty

The Quick and The Dirty has the engine steamed up with the blues and is driven along by a generous helping of funk, soul and musicality. Blues Engine work together in harmony building on the talents of guitarist Alex Cooray play that is supported by a rhythm section that hits the groove spot thanks to bassist Alex Liutai and drummer Ovais Hai. Adding to the sweet mix is the deep down bluesy vocals from Katya Chernyakova who adds some mean piano licks to uplift the tracks with an additional tone and texture.
Opening with Runaway Blues; this is no stereotypical blues track about trains the beat is fresh and contemporary while firmly grounded in electric blues with rootsy overtones. The guitar intro is stripped back and melodic on For A Breath I Tarry as the piano joins the party the tempo is given a feeling of determination as the rhythm section joins the party, as you wonder if this is an instrumental Katya’s vocals cuts across the music with words that meld into the mix with their simplicity of form and style. The lead-in is a simply guitar and the driving beat of the drum and the vocals curl above them with an upbeat almost a dance tempo because there is The Devil Is Dancing on the Roof; this starts a trio of tracks that ground and shape the album; Long Gone has a lyrical feel it is the words that have the stage and every instrument plays second line to Katya; there is a feel of something emotionally immense about this slightly broody and heavier track. Then the lightness of this optimistic almost bubbly track the light after the Long Gone; This Little Heart makes you smile and want to clap along. As the album draws to a close there is a country, western feel to Alex’s guitar on Hold On and then it is the closing track Valentine; back to the blues done Blues Engine style. The Quick and the Dirty is a debut album that sets the mark high for this young band; with a deep understanding of the blues and a quirky, modern twist added to the mix. Blues Engine are one to watch as their style develops and matures.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD SEVEN pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

Blues Engine– The Quick and the Dirty – Independent

1. Runaway Blues
2. Empty Pockets
3. For A Breath I Tarry
4. Danse Macabre
5. The Devil Dancing on the Roof
6. Long Gone
7. This Little Heart
8. Tumbledown
9. What you Gonna Do?
10. Hold Out
11. Hush Your Mouth
12. Valentine