CD Review: Beth Hart ~ Better Than Home

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Beth Hart
Better Than Home
Provogue/Mascot Label Group

 

Beth Hart pours out blues from her soul, the album is a tribute to a survivor who has come out the other side and can feel the warmth of sunshine in their life. The eleven tracks are retrospective that refuses to drown but floats in musical glory that defines Beth Hart the performer. Better Than Home is a celebration of life’s stony road every person that Beth has walked across as she has faced many difficulties including Bipolar disorder and her sister’s death she has studied polished and turned into a gem of a track that reaches out deep into the listeners own psyche. Be expected to be hit by an onslaught of emotionally charged lyrics when you least expect it as Better Than Home gets under your skin.
Every track is a glittering jewel that is pretty on the surface but underneath there are lyrics as gritty as the earth gems are pulled from, the mix of her sultry vocals that squeal and spit out the words, with melody lines played by tuneful piano and rhythmic bass lines. Opening with Might As Well Smile the tone is set with the big horn introduction that gives Beth the foundation to build with the voice that is pure emotion that spills out and captivates. Followed by nine more tracks before closing with the Bonus track Mama This One’s For You, with the perfect combination of Beth on Piano and her voice reaching out to her Mama in a deeply personal song that touches your heart as the album draws to a close the journey is at an end emotions and experiences picked over as Beth shares her personal demons, fears and shining hope.
In between there are songs that nestle in and belong to the album as a whole, including Tell Her You Belong to Me a song of love and desire, her voice takes on an aching tone of simmering lust in this stripped down number as she sings an entirety to her lover, all pride set aside. The title track, is a promise “I am not afraid or lonely / I am not chasing the ghost of the past” and is the centre piece of the album. The piano is perfect as the intro to St. Teresa and the gentle uplifting vocals that rise above the piano as the story unfolds in this deeply reflective number as a funky soulful number The Mood That I’m In. This is a track where the emotions are thrown to the wind and the band has fun, but the shape of the album is maintained with, instead of a guitar solo, a change of vocal tone and a vocal solo then the tempo is picked up letting her stretch her powerful and flexible tubes. We have a letter that allows Beth explore love in Mechanical Heart, this has a wonderful orchestral background , the lushness of the strings tugging at your heartstrings as the words tumble out this is Beth at her cathartic best as her voice stretches higher and higher.

Better Than Home, is a musical onslaught of power, charged feelings, souls bared on this is, a journey that shines with the glittering hardness of a polished diamond. Beth is a singer and musician who writes what she wants to say, takes no prisoners as her onslaught through music delivered by a tuneful sledgehammer of power combined with poetic lyrics that takes your breath away and leaves you energised with hope. Beth continues to grow and this is an album that soars above her contemporaries delivering blues that touch the heart.

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

1. Might As Well Smile
2. Tell ‘Em To Hold On
3. Tell Her You Belong To Me
4. Trouble
5. Better Than Home
6. St. Teresa
7. We’re Still Living In The City
8. The Mood That I’m In
9. Mechanical Heart
10. As Long AS I Have A Song
11. Mama This One’s For You

Joe Bonamassa ~ Different Shades Of Blue

JB-DSOBJoe Bonamassa
Different Shades Of Blue
Provogue/Mascot Label

Different Shades Of Blue is a tapestry of blue, every shade and hue has been woven with passion, hurt and joy into a fabric that is an enduring sound that will fix Joe Bonamassa as a man who can rock the blues. For me this is the best album from him for a long time he has given himself the freedom and taken confidence in the songs as he says “The writers really inspired me…” the time spent in Nashville was certainly not wasted as the eleven tracks produced by Kevin Shirley in Las Vegas ensure the boundaries have been bent as gracefully as Bonamassa shapes the sound from his guitar.

The vocals are stronger they complement and enhance the listening experience of the guitar work from the opening intro Hey Baby (New Rising Sun) that showcases what to expect. There is a fluidity in the playing you get the feeling that Joe is enjoying what he is playing he is stretching himself slightly out of the comfort zone so not going through studio driven hamster wheel of churning out another album. Oh Beautiful opens with his voice clear and proud of the lyrics then the crash of drums and the heart stopping full fruited guitar riffs wow what a track to have to follow. Simple change the beat, let’s have funky brass and cymbals, and again we have a voice that has been muffled too long on Love Ain’t A Love Song. The title track Different Shades of Blue has a psychedelia 1970’s feel full of subtle tweaks and licks there is a yearning for something not so blue while showing versatility of Joe Bonamassa. Living On The Moon is a foot tapping driven blues that is high-octane and you know this is going to be a musical roller-coaster.

The stand out track on the accomplished album is Never Give It All Your Heart, full of mournful guitar that is like a misty autumn morning all what has been as the ballad structure works so well for the lyrics on this track you are drawn into the music and want to stay swimming into Joe’s blues waters full of hidden depths.

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

Joe Bonamassa – Get Back My Tomorrow – single

10620539_838234662867260_2558346540057078170_nJoe Bonamassa
Get Back My Tomorrow
Mascot Label Group/Provogue Records

Joe definitely has the blues on this single released prior to his long-awaited album Different Shades Of Blue release Date 22nd September.JB-DSOB

If this single reflects the tone and texture of the album he will be winning some new fans. On Get My Tomorrow you have over four and half minutes of guitar playing that tugs at your blues soul and words that send vocal tingle up and down your spine. This is a single full of confidence from the interesting intro keyboard and guitar lick that reminds you of something lost that you can’t quite touch. Then the vocals that are engaging and full of heartfelt emotions and anguish that is the bedrock of the blues and the vocals are strong and true as if Joe believes in what he is singing and playing. Joe may sing ‘It’s a bitter pill to swallow, can you taste the pain and sorrow’ but the listening experience is pure delight with the bending and blending of chords, licks and teasing little riffs of joy.

Bluesdoodles gives this SINGLE SEVEN doodle paws out of TEN ….pawprint half inch looking forward to hearing and reviewing the whole album Different Shades Of Blues when released on 22nd September! Click album title for link to Bluesdoodles album review – Different Shades Of Blues

Joe B

Walter Trout ~ The Blues Came Callin' – CD Review

xctmpYOWskMWalter Trout
The Blues Came Callin’
Provogue Records

Walter Trout has been there , done it and has the tee-shirt, playing with some of the best, working alongside legendary bluesmen John Lee Hooker, John Mayall, Canned Heat etc. He has emerged with great experience that provided him a positive solo career. With over 35 years of life on the road, sadly he finds himself in serious ill-health, obviously curtailing his work. Thankfully, he recently had a liver transplant and the news is positive at time of this review. This album is his latest offering despite the difficult times and being hospitalised. On listening it is without any doubt a great indicator to his past, present and future passion for music and life.
The Blues Came Callin’ contains plenty of light and shade whilst incorporating his hard-hitting fluid style of guitar playing. There are 10 new original riff laden tracks, plus one from J.B.Lenoir and John Mayall. Bluesman supremo John Mayall, supplies keyboards on the title track and his own penned track ‘Mayall’s Piano Boogie’. The opening track ‘Wastin’ Away’ is a great taster of what is to come with emotional, rocking guitar solos flourishing on this album. Listen to ‘Take a Little Time’ and try not to move your feet, I bet you can’t, it has shades of Bonnie Raitt as well. The title of the instrumental ‘Mayall’s Piano Boogie’ say it all, tremendous musicianship from all concerned, I bet they had a ball recording this. Even a great SRV sounding offering with ‘Tight Shoes’ is on offer. The title track ‘The Blues Came Callin’ is a standard 12 bar blues tune with John Mayall playing the old Hammond B3 – it may be standard but it is one hell of a cracker. Seriously, there is not a dud track, get it, crank up the volume, sit back and enjoy the ride, you will not be disappointed as Mr Trout shines through with his well-honed guitar playing.
In his own words” ‘My family and my music is my lifeline. These days, it means more to me than ever before.” Walter, I salute you….

Bluesdoodles along with lovers of quality guitar wish Walter a speedy recovery following his liver transplant, sending love and positive vibes and a big thank you to his wife Marie for her heartfelt, informative and emotional updates on this journey Walter is undertaking at the moment….

Bluesdoodles gives this CD out of TEN doodle paws a doodle rating of

TEN ……… pawprint half inch

Album Listing :-

header-WalterTrout-MLG

No Sinner – Boo Hoo Hoo CD Review

Boo Hoo HooNo Sinner
Boo Hoo Hoo
Provogue Records

There is nothing to cry about or go Boo Hoo Hoo about this début album from No Sinner the Canadian Blues Rock Band who produce a confident sound which they are delighted with. The vocals are delivered by Colleen Rennison which if you play a word game you will see that No Sinner is her surname backwards! More importantly that word play is the vocal dexterity it is truly a heady cocktail of emotions, sweet and sugar, down and out dirty always with a sultry edge that draws you into every track this four-piece delivers on the album. The album is nine strong tracks, nothing has been added in as a filler with a mix of tonal textures, and tempos that keep you interested, this is a band that loves music and refuses to be trapped in a single style of the blues, thus every track has a contemporary edge. The drumming from Ian Browne is superb whether it is the crashing full on intro to Boo Hoo Hoo or the in the background rhythm driving drumming on Rise Up. The delightful licks from guitarist Eric Campbell as demonstrated on Runnin’ blends around Colleen’s vocals adding that urgency and giving the track the feel of the hot and steamy delta of Southern Rock. Devil on my Back combines with metronomic drumming, guitar licks, vocals and a strong bass line delivered by Bradley Ferguson, this is the track from this accomplished album that steps out above the rest demonstrating that this is a band that is the sum of the many producing blues that lead you to its emotional heart.
This is a band that produces a complete sound it is blues with a spiced up rock feeling that delights from the first drum beats of the title and opening track Boo Hoo Hoo until the guitar and vocals wave you a moving and gentle goodbye on September Moon leaving you wishing for another track so simple solution replay the album which you will do time and time again. I do wish the cover of the CD had artistic flair and less of a simplistic marketing solution that really is a little dated early 21st century, in the end it is the music inside the cover that sells and boy this music should sell…

Will Ireland - No Sinner
Photographer Will Ireland – No Sinner

Bluesdoodles gives this CD out of TEN doodle paws a doodle rating of

Eight ……… pawprint half inch

This is a great band so take the opportunity to see No Sinner live in U.K at Dot to Dot FestivalManchester May 23rd @ Satan’s Hollow; Bristol May 24th @ The Exchange and Nottingham May 25th @ Spanky Van Dykes; Leeds 27th May @ Brundell Social Club; London 29th May @ The Garage then of to Europe, France, Netherlands and Germany before returning to Canada.

Photographer Al Stuart - No Sinner
Photographer Al Stuart – No Sinner

Festivals this is definitely a band to book for 2015……

Listen to Boo Hoo Hoo below but you really should buy the CD and get to a venue to catch the classy sound they produce..