Thorbjørn Risager & The Black Tornado Says Change My Game

Thorbjørn Risager & The Black Tornado Says Change My Game

Thorbjørn Risager & The Black Tornado  Says Change My Game

 

This is an album that drives through and visits many styles and shapes into a Tornado that whirls and swirls around you. Change My Game, excites, soothes and beguiles. It is full of Soul, Funk and buckets of Blues of every hue rocked up at times with jagged tones.

Opening with I Used to Love You and the creamy, languid vocals of Thorbjørn Risager who from the oft dictates the shape moods and smoulder that ignites as the album progresses through to the closing number City Of Love. This is a fuzzy blues ZZ Top inspired number that has a driving urgency. This is an album that moves sinuously through music that has been touched, shaped by the blues and back deep into the sultry delta. The Black Tornado adds deep and stormy intent to the sound that is instantly recognised but never pigeon-holed. Joining Risager’s guitar is Peter Skjerning and the keys from Emil Balsgaard adding that layer of divine interest throughout and makes Dreamland have an added punch.

Changing the tempo once again, Holler N’ Moan is a holler that reaches deep into a shared memory of hard labour and persecution. The rhythm section comes to the fore in shaping Holler N’ Moan as Soren Bojgaard’s bass and the power of the drum beat from Martin Seidelin.  The tempo changes and we have sparkling faceted sapphire blue the layers of sound deep and dark. How do you follow this by lightning the tone as Hard Time is explored with a jaunty beat as we yearn to be back home.  The album continues to put you under a mesmerising music trance as Long Gone, the stellar ballad of the album, stings your emotions. With its rhythm duet as an opener the bass and drum leading us in to the explosion of vocals and keys that curl as you join Risager and howl at the moon with the glorious horns accompanying you. Wow! What a track as the album reaches half way.

This is 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.

Maybe It’s Alright, picks up the blues holler and the power of Thorbjørn’s vocals are clarion clear as the horns and chorus meld and punctuate the lyrics with a song that rocks your socks off like so much of the album. The title track has a funky warm feel that just demonstrates this is a band that plays music that moves you, those feet will not be still. A studio album 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. Change My Game, not if it means taking the disc out of the player this is a keeper.

 

Thorbjorn Risager & The Black Tornado – Change My Game – RUF

TEN pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. I Used To Love You
  2. Dreamland
  3. Holler ‘N Moan
  4. Hard Time
  5. Long Gone
  6. Hold My Lover Tight
  7. Maybe It’s Alright
  8. Train
  9. Lay My Burden Down
  10. City of Love

An Evening With Todd Rundgren – Live At The Ridgefield

An Evening With Todd Rundgren – Live At The RidgefieldAn Evening With Todd Rundgren – Live At The Ridgefield

Live At The Ridgefield, the first thing  you notice on this fourth live album from Todd is the cinematography is not the quality expected from a live professional shot DVD. BUT the most important part, the sound is excellent and captures the energy, enthusiasm that is Todd Rundgren. The appeal of the DVD is also the under production, this is who I am Todd Rundgren while he moves from Rock to Soul, it is his eclectic take on music the fans love the individuality, energy and connection with the audience. The show they chose to film was December 2015 at The Richfield Playhouse in Connecticut.

With a back catalogue that spans the decades from the1960’s up to now, as Todd adroitly says the evening is not long enough to fit the set list in. The set reflects the journey Todd has taken with his guitar and vocals and the set list moves from one song to another including his early days with The Nazz. The fans will love the choice yes, some favourites will not be there but he has ensured fans from all and any era will have the sound they love. From funky through to rock.
Picking out highlights as Todd puts down the guitar and funky drives the theatre, Love Science with some smart footwork as the band takes over. Following from funk Buffalo Grass a complete contrast with its luscious harmonies and a guitar that sings. The twenty-five tracks show the scope and range that Todd has delivered, melodic soulful ballads through to lead breaks that are understated letting the guitar strings do the talking. He has performed live songs not heard for decades and if you love music from both rock and soul genres this DVD/CD has it all delivered with verve and an intent to entertain with quality music.
As ever, the DVD has those extra nuggets that no CD or vinyl will ever have, this is no exception with band members interviewing each other.
The DVD/CD combo, An Evening With Todd Rundgren – Live At The Ridgefield is one for the fans, this is a Todd Rundgren trip down memory lane. Every fan will remember the first time they saw Todd live, heard the number played creating a visual and aural treat to revisit the music that defines Todd Rundgren and the band.

 

An Evening With Todd Rundgren – Live At The Ridgefield

An Evening With Todd Rundgren – Live At The Ridgefield – Cleopatra Records

The CD/DVD package comes in a special 6-panel digipak.
Also available on limited edition vinyl.
To purchase “An Evening With Todd Rundgren – Live At The Ridgefield”:
CD/DVD: HERE
Vinyl: HERE
SEVEN pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

CD: Track Listing:

1. I Saw The Light
2. Love Of The Common Man
3. Open My Eyes
4. Sometimes I Don’t Know What To Feel
5. Black And White
6. Buffalo Grass
7. Determination
8. Lost Horizon
9. Bang The Drum All Day
10. Kiddie Boy
11. Black Maria
12. Drive
13. Secret Society
14. Love In Action
15. Couldn’t I Just Tell You
16. Can We Still Be Friends
17. Hello It’s Me
18. One World

DVD & BLU-RAY EDITIONS

1. Intro / I Saw The Light
2. Love Of The Common Man
3. Open My Eyes
4. Remarks
5. Sometimes I Don’t Know What To Feel
6. Black And White
7. Love Science
8. Buffalo Grass
9. Determination
10. Lost Horizon
11. Bang The Drum All Day
12. Soothe
13. Kiddie Boy
14. Black Maria
15. God Said
16. Drive
17. I’m So Proud
18. Ooh Baby Baby
19. I Want You
20. Secret Society
21. Love In Action
22. Couldn’t I Just Tell You
23. Can We Still Be Friends
24. Hello It’s Me
25. One World
26. Credits

Royal Southern Brotherhood presents The Royal Gospel

Royal Southern Brotherhood presents The Royal Gospel

Royal Southern Brotherhood presents
The Royal Gospel

 

 

Royal Southern Brotherhood are back with their signature mix of funky roots driven by a percussive platform overlaid with vocals that tell a compelling and lyrical story. RSB excel in that special hot and spicy funky southern soul and blues that hit your musical radar with a tasty thump. Royal Southern Brotherhood presents The Royal Gospel their fourth studio album. The Gospel hasn’t changed, despite the change in band members with only Cyril Neville & Yonrico Scott of the Royals remaining from their great Heart Soul Blood album.

The reason is the music chemistry is still strong reproducing a swampy, tasty and rich cocktail of The Royal Gospel. Joining Cyril, Yonrico and guitarists Bart Walker and Tyrone Vaughan for this album is Darrell Phillips on bass and guest Norman Caser with his B3 Hammond adding chords of depth and textural contrast. “As far as the men making the music and playing the songs,” says Neville, “the mission of the band has never changed.” It is the collaboration the essence of a brotherhood that makes the sound deep and strong so it is unsurprising that the songwriting is a partnership between band members, yes Cyril as ever is the beating pulse within many of the tracks. The connection between Cyril and Bart is strong and songwriting collaboration happens despite the distance of 800 miles between their respective homes in New Orleans and Nashville. There is a telepathic link between them Cyril says “I kinda laughed, because Bart was getting ahead of what I was thinking” technology is the new way with phone conversation and the exchange of ideas. The lyrical gumbo created is very, very tasty on The Royal Gospel.
The shimmering guitar and percussive power laid down with the opening of Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire. Their guitars are hot, smoking with raw energy and an impatience to get the album on the road, pouring out of your speakers. Then joining in the fun is Cyril whose vocals are distinctive and harmonising with the deep percussive beat laid down by Yonrico. Royal Southern Brotherhood still full of strong soulful, blues southern comforting music. The lyrics develop from this common or garden saying that we all use. The lyrics co-written by Neville and Vaughan pull on the underlying meaning and shape the soul of the melody. This writing partnership pops up on the penultimate track, with Can’t Waste Time. The hooks are spiky as we meet a “Girl, you’re like a ship without a rudder” as we hear all about her behavior as a two-faced lover.

A collaborative album, the grooves are deep and the brotherhood-wide and held in the deep understanding of each other. Royal Southern Brotherhood, definitely not a rudderless collective. They are a band of brothers, a band of musicians who pick up the vibe and the rhythms flow and gather energy as the lyrics unfold. The beat powers through Blood Is Thicker Than Water where Cyril’s vocals are pure and full of emotion that proves the strength of family. The blues vibe is strong on Everybody Pays Some Dues, with Bart and Tyrone playing off each other, once again the lyrical story holds your attention as the moral of the story everybody pays some dues, restated by backing singers so we know what the song is all about. There is no escaping, but no one wants to escape from the guitar breaks the licks curl around and paying your dues is a light price to pay!

RSB as ever change the tempo and the soulful, gentler Face Of Love half way through gives a gentle repose as the instruments interplay and weave through the trellis of the vocals. Sit back and let the song cascade over you music as the deep bass and crack of drum beat adds a deeper groove to the guitar which has a bluesey feel with a touch of Spanish flamenco – wow compelling listening. Then upping the tempo for the ride with the brotherhood home with funky keys and the trademark percussion we visit the Land Of Broken Hearts. Spirit Man is a classic RSB take on the blues, rocky, swirling and deep with blue emotions and clever shading of tone and texture. The album closes with a happy clapping along foot tapping melody as we Stand Up and praise in true gospel fashion the joyous power of RSB. Yes, we Stand Up and salute you. The Royal Gospel spreads the word. Power and glory of roots music full of southern heat and swampy spice.

Royal Southern Brotherhood – The Royal Gospel – Ruf Records 

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

Track Listing 

  1. Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire
  2. I’ve Seen Enough To Know
  3. Blood Is Thicker Than Water
  4. I Wonder Why
  5. I’m Comin’ Home
  6. Everybody Pays Some Dues
  7. Face Of Love
  8. Land of Broken Hearts
  9. Spirit Man
  10. Hooked on Plastic
  11. Can’t Waste Time
  12. Stand Up

Royal Southernbrotherhood are:-
Cyril Neville: percussion vocals
Bart Walker: electric & acoustic guitars vocals
Tyrone Vaughn: electric guitar vocals
Darrel Phillips: Bass backing vocals
Yonrico Scott: drums percussion
Norman Caesar: Hammond B3

Lisa Mann Hitting the Bass Line Playing Live in The UK

Lisa Mann Hitting the Bass Line Playing Live in The UKLisa Mann Hitting the Bass Line Playing Live in The UK; the perfect post tennis concert. Lisa brought to show tonight twin-talents award-winning, captivating bass and wonderful vocals. With a depth of varied sound and shapes from her six-string beast that for most of the gig was nonchalantly draped over her right shoulder as she sung. Not looking for a moment as her fingers walked the frets she drew all the emotion out of every song.

Tonight and for the rest of her UK Tour, Lisa is accompanied by a trio of well-known musicians. Dudley Ross, guitar, instantly identifiable with stylish chords and jazz infused licks. Stevie Watts adding an array of chords with his dancing fingers across the Hammond and keys. He even sang tonight! then completing the rhythm section John Sam on his rhythmic drums.

Opening. with a Jimmy Reed number Ain’t That Lovin’ You Baby, setting the road for a night full of blues and music that charmed and delighted the audience in the venue.

The venue provides an atmospheric backdrop that gives the artist a dramatic platform to play from. Lisa and her band distilled the environment and delivered a stylish set full of interest, variation of textures and tone, we had urban and country blues, funk and some good all feet tapping Rock n’ Roll the deep bass vibe interacting with Stevie on keys on Blues Is My Medicine, from her Move On album. Lisa charmed the audience warning of bad language on Big Long List from the same album, we all could relate to Lisa’s list of chores that haunt her and are never-ending she is right to call it ‘shit’.

Lisa Mann Hitting the Bass Line Playing Live in The UKTonight also saw Lisa dip into her latest album, Hard Times, Bad Decisions.  Doghouse audience participation as they joined in making dog noises at the end. My Father’s House is as strong performed on stage as it is in the studio format on the album. It is no wonder Lisa is an award-winning bass player,  her vocals should not be ignored with emotive tones and range from pure soprano to deep down and dirty. Lisa Mann it certainly wasn’t either Hard Times, or a Bad Decision to tune into your show tonight come back soon you will always be welcomed on a British stage.  Lisa still has these town’s to visit on her 2016 tour playing Deal, Merthyr Tydfil, Evesham, Putney, Edinburgh, Maidstone and Bristol – check out dates and venues HERE

 

lisa mann

Fight Another Day says Dan Reed Network

Fight Another Day says Dan Reed Network

 

Fight Another Day says Dan Reed Network

Dan Reed Network are back with Fight Another Day. The title sums up the ups and down of a network that fades but is never completely silenced. Originally formed in 1984 packing local clubs in Portland, Oregon with a mix of sounds comprising hard rock twisted and turned with deep shadows of funk, soul and pop. Three successful albums and then silence as the band disbands. The Dan Reed Network Story re-kindles like a phoenix as the band re-forms with original members for 25th Anniversary gig. The magic and excitement rekindled. Touring again and now a fourth studio album Fight Another Day. Dan says “The title ‘Fight Another Day’ represents the fact that after 25 years we were able to gravitate back to the passion we discovered playing together all those years ago, and battle on once more!”

Now for the music it is what the fans loved long deep melodies, Rock that explores all the facets of the sound that is broad and deep happily taking on layers of funk, twists of soul and a catchy line, chorus or tune. The line-up has changed slightly but the essence of the signature funk rock sound is still as strong as ever.

The dance floor is the place to be for the funky The Brave the bass provides the power that drives the rhythm while Dan’s vocals curl around the sound that has an infectious quality. The swish of cymbals the deep funk rhythm and This Whole World Infected is intoned, the lyrics are dark with a dystopian edge and the catchy flow that is Dan Reed Network’s rock with a beat that infects your soul. The tracks unfold the album has a sinuous and seamless movement. The choreography of sound creates a sound scape of words often thought-provoking against a rock melody that wraps you in a comfort blanket of sound. The album touches on the problems of society and by track eight we have an uplift in beat with Save The World, simple stripped back and imploring for someone to take a chance and Save The World. No answers but the question who is going to save the world needs to be answered very soon. Given the turbulence of the Dan Reed Network, Reunite seems an apt title to include again that curling melodic beat nothing grinds it is harmonising on tiers of sound. The keys add interest and together with the guitar chords acts as a foil for the vocals with funky bass and drums that keep an urgency so that nothing drifts into a blurred mess of indistinctive sound.

The album opens with a modern electro swirl, as Divided gets the fourth studio album underway. By the time we reach the closing track the band has explored sounds that take you on a musical adventure, the band is definitely Standing Tall as the last notes fade with Funk Rock reinvented for today while still true to the fans of the 1980’s.

Check-out Tour dates

HERE

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

Fight Another Day – Dan Reed NetworkFrontiers Music Srl

Track Listing
1. Divided
2. The Brave
3. Infected
4. Champion
5. Ignition
6. Give It Love
7. B There With U
8. Save The World
9. Eye Of The Storm
10. Reunite
11. Heaven
12. Sharp Turn
13. Stand Tall

CD Review: 24 Pesos ~ Do The Right Thing

Scan000224 Pesos
Do The Right Thing
Ourgate Records

 

This is the fourth album from 24 Pesos who bring an album that celebrates the mix of sounds that creates music with a modern feel while rooted in the lexicon of styles, funk, blues and rock that is woven through the full tones on the ten self-penned tracks, Do the Right Thing yes they are definitely doing that! Opening with Step Back Julian Burdock on vocals and guitars the band have a groove that hits you deep in your soul and lead breaks that scintillate and introduces you to the whole sound with Moz Gamble keys and the powerhouse of any band the structurally intense rhythm section Silas Laitland on Bass and drummer Bryan McLellan. By the third track you are getting to know the sound but if this is your first dip into the world of 24 Pesos you are in for a surprise as Rise Up is slower with the Dobro guitar the riff is intoxicating. Half way through and the well-developed lyrics and beefy music links combine on The Good Lord Did building on the gospel blues tradition of using biblical references, here the music is anything but traditional but it works. Then we have a Delta Blues number 24 Pesos do their own thing and never get trapped in just replicating music that we have heard before, Need Somebody is full of Delta influence and the beat and tone suits Julian’s vocals perfectly. This is followed by a sliding devilishly good track Night Train, the lyrics have a story to tell and the use of phrases that are in the vocabulary of the blues tradition this is the crest of the wave as the album heads for home in a studio album that truly has captured the looseness, spontaneity of live music. They are a band that play off each other’s musicality creating a sound that catches your attention. The last three tracks defiantly do not coast they are of the same impeccable standard, with a deep, gloopy funk groove of the title track this is a band that fully intends to entertain as they end with a Boom Boom and never a whimper we have listened to an album that shows why 24 Pesos continues to grow their fan base.

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

Track Listing

 

  1. Step Back
  2. Won’t Lie Down
  3. Rise Up
  4. Clap Hands
  5. The Good Lord Did
  6. Need Somebody
  7. Night Train
  8. If You Want It
  9. Do The Right Thing
  10. Boom Boom

CD Review: Blues Engine ~ The Quick and The Dirty

7713228Blues Engine
The Quick and The Dirty
Independent

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

CD Review : Delta Deep

1 DD front album cover finalThis is no vanity project, Collen says, “Blues was created out of something completely different from what we hear today. I grew up listening to rock music but then I found out it was all based on blues. Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, all of those guys….they got it from blues. Today’s musicians miss out on what blues is completely about. There’s a type of ‘blues style’ but not actual blues music. I just don’t hear true blues anymore unless I go back and listen to really old music.”  So Delta Deep was formed to turn the tide!

Delta Deep is definitely blues with soul and the power of rock often a cousin of the blues in the approach to riffs and licks form a guitar, and that of Def Leppard’s, Phil Collen gives the whole album shape and form as the textures change the power remains to combine this with the soulful voice of Debbie Blackwell-Cook, who has understandably been described as “one part Aretha (Franklin) one part Chaka (Khan) two parts Led Zepplin”. Then scattered through the album are other special guests who add to the shape and form Delta Deep will never bore.

The foot stomping hill country rocking romp opens the album and you want to Bang The Lid the vocals and guitar are in perfect harmony and you just have to clap your hands as the music drives on and the story unfolds. This is a Blackwell-Cooke number where she tries to get there and back but still be an independent woman; with a gospel getting you, you just want to hear more.  The tempo changes in an ode to Whiskey, her voice is sultry and the drumming and guitar gently accompanies and in a jazz infused blues calms the heat down. Completing the opening set of tracks is Down in The Delta that always informs me if this is an album I want to listen to; and there is no doubt I am hooked and what to explore the depths of the music that is being so cleverly shaped and formed.   Back to rock guitar this is a track that will “make a grown man weep” yes the guitar weeps and raises the heat but it is the lyrics, the key to any great blues number, that paint a lyrical picture of heat, grime and back breaking misery that has shaped the Delta Deep. Again Debbie’s vocals curl and shape the emotions of every cry and word as the drums and cymbals pull the gospel together.

Now it is time for a duet not of two guitars but Phil & Debbie in You Treat Her Like Candy as the tempo becomes more mainstream and the story less intense it is like a sweet breather before you are assaulted with the power, glory and raw emotions that combine on so many of the tracks.  This combination of vocal tones works so well and is repeated on Miss Me, Private Number with David Coverdale and Mistreated.

Half way through and we have fusion music that shapes tones around the heart of the blues with keys and guitar licks that reflects the tears and pain of Burnt Sally. As you would expect rock features heavily on the album, as the next trio of power blues show, Shuffle Sweet the drum opener by the talented Forrest Robinson,  picks up the speed and the vocals and guitar have a driving urgency, with a catchy chorus that would have a live audience participating through sheer joy of the music. The second in the trio, Black Coffee is a tribute to the power of coffee and passions that run hot the guitar zings and the rhythms are deep; followed on by Feel It with vocals that have a granite edge reflecting the guitar and bass line provided by Robert DeLeo, has a funky edge to the rock so like the rest of the album no track is a repetition of beat, tempo or its approach to the blues.

The last track. The longest at eight minutes is an anthem to the whole album drawing together the hard-rock of Def Leppard and plaiting it around the blues so the vocals and guitar wail with the agony of life’s experience and the collective history of a music that lies deep in the hardship of the Delta.

This is a blues album that weaves in music styles that owe their heritage to the blues, soul, rock n’ roll, heavy rock, funk and jazz this is family tree of music styles,  that is rooted in and reaches deep down into the spirit, pain and heat of the Delta. The lyrics are strong the guitar playing is mesmerizing and the production is raw, Delta Deep will spill out of your speakers and ooze through srteaming music into your music brains musical discography as an album to listen to again and again.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD TEN doodle paws out of TEN ….

Delta Deep – Independent

Track Listing

  1. Bang The Lid
  2. Whiskey
  3. Down In The Delta
  4. Treat Her Like Candy
  5. Miss Me
  6. Burnt Sally
  7. Private Number
  8. Shuffle Sweet
  9. Black Coffee
  10. Feel It
  11. Mistreated

And here is a taster of the opening track

Brother Strut – Live @ The Globe Cardiff

Brother Strut- The Globe - July 2015_0306lWarming up a hot and rapidly filling Globe in Cardiff was Mi’Das, tonight one man and his electric guitar and box of tricks. His music was contained within jazz and funk groove as he played a selection from his E.P; Stronger and the single from the album Too Little Too Late is perfect for the soul in his voice and funk in his fingers. He certainly got the audience excited for Brother Strut and there funky grooves.

Brother Strut- The Globe - July 2015_0204lBrother Strut excites the audience wherever they play live and tonight, their first time in Wales, the audience had travelled to see the band that knows how to lay down a groove! The band is the coming together of five musicians who have worked with some of the world’s biggest artists. Brother Strut  are a quintet combining a powerhouse of a rhythm section of Frankie Tontoh on drums and  bassist Steve Pearce with up front musical director, Steve Jones who plays a tuneful tenor sax and keys, Otha Smith with his delightful guitar riffs and pianist and lead soul-drenched vocalist Sam Tanner. The band stormed the stage full of verve and the sheer delight of playing infectious funk, soul with a twist of jazz to spice the mix up this is new funk for the here and now. At the heart of the set list were tracks from their debut album First Strut Is the Deepest interspersed between were tracks from Kings of Leon, Grovers Washington and Billy Preston the one thing for certain was whether playing their own Strut stuff or covers the timing was perfect and the result on Friday night in Cardiff was dancing and a contagious need to smile and let the music light up the hot July night.

Brother Strut- The Globe - July 2015_0143lThe atmosphere was hot and electric and as the gig went on this just grew and grew to fever pitch as everyone had the chance, to dance, punch the air and sing along we were having pure unadulterated high energy fun courtesy of a band who plays live music with a funked up attitude. The music has a modern feel that has its musical influence deep in New Orleans, Chicago and Detroit mixing blues, with funk and the New Orleans fast playing high energy free from but never anarchic of manic jazz. We had the opportunity to join in the Brother Strut sway, a bit of authentic Reggae adding to the variety of the mix of styles to get the audience to connect with Brother Strut live music style. Every track played had a special place in the set and fitted in building the groove, deepening the groove and giving Strut’s groove tonal colour and variation. The stand out tracks of the evening were Bags of Funk, where the saxophone gasped and cut through the music the soul in the rhythm from the guitar is deep and full of warm passion just makes this music full of funk and feel that excites and sends your music and into a spin. The other had to be Billy Preston’s Nothing For Nothing what a glorious delivery of this classic number.

 

Brother Strut- The Globe - July 2015_0198lThe whole set was fast setting feet-tapping, hips jumping and then the dancing began, on stage the musicians continued to inter-play with an almost telepathic communication so that the free, jam feel was always disciplined with a clear shape and structure. The two key boards never collide it was as if they played lead and rhythm as two guitars so often do on stage; chord structures never clashing only deepening and strengthening the warm honeyed soul with a funky attitude.

The last number Chicago left the room wanting more and if they could we wanted them to just play on the atmosphere was hot and the music hotter still.

Brother Strut @ The Globe Cardiff – 19th July 2015

CD Review: Matt Edwards ~ Four Berry Jam

mattedwards2

 

Matt Edwards
Four Berry Jam
Independent

 

 

This is an album full of taste and texture that a quality Four Berry Jam from a Women’s Institutes stall would be, sharp and sweet richly red in colour full of hidden depths the mix is of twelve original compositions definitely hit your musical taste buds. Opening the album with a sharp guitar lick Behind The Wall with Matt’s vocals the whole sound is reminiscent of early Oli Brown. The opening track is proclaiming this is a band that should be heard far and wide. With a strong rhythm section of regular drummer Andy Norris and the effervescent bassist Roger Inniss Matt knows he has the platform to explore his vocal and guitar delivery. There is a feeling of funkiness as we hit the second track Dreaming of A Time Before, now intrigued by what will unfold through the rest of the album.
The change of styles, funk, rock, ballads does not make the album feel it is jumping from one style to another to add some difference, the tracks link together with the vocals and guitar style that is a consistent tour-de-force throughout the album; the style changes emphasize the depth of the tracks and add to the lyrics. This Year picks up the tempo and we hear and foot stomping rocky number that has some great drumming from Andy, whereas the bass comes to the fore and we hear Roger step up the power in the laid back blues ballad Same Old Self which is the perfect foil to the vocals that have a yearning power. Half way through and the strength of the album is evident with Picking at The Bone pulling back to urban blues roots deep in the heart of Chicago; can the quality be maintained over the next six tracks I will give you an early clue… YES. With the electro edgy intro the guitar picks up and wails through Don’t Need You Anymore and then the story unfolds with the vocals who soar above the guitar but never in competition. Miles and Miles is an upbeat groove that borrows some Jazzy licks that flows and ebbs as the tempo ebbs and flows. The closing track Taking Up Time has an acoustic feel and leaves you with Matt’s vocals swirling round your head; this is an album that celebrates the diversity of musical tones and creates a groove that is sweet and sharp; pure and complex and above all entertains.

The timing throughout the album is pinpoint sharp with lots of engaging instrumentation full of blues, rhythm and soul; if you are expecting Blues with an edge that is not full of well-worn grooves and formulaic riffs then Four Berry Jam will satisfy.

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

Tracks
1. Behind The Wall
2. Dreaming Before Time
3. This Year
4. Same Old Self
5. All In Pieces
6. Picking At The Bone
7. Make A Wish
8. Don’t Need You Anymore
9. Another Round
10. Miles and Miles
11. Walk
12. Taking Up Time

Band Members
Matt Edwards: Guitar/Vocals
Andy Norris: Drums
Roger Inniss: Bass Guitar