Samantha Fish the Belle of The West on this Album

Samantha Fish the Belle of The West on this AlbumSamantha Fish is the Belle of The West on her second studio album of 2017. Belle Of The West takes us on a completely different musical journey a complete contrast to Chills & Fever. For this album, Samantha has gone deep into the roots of Blues, country and Mississippi Hill Country music. Samantha Fish has pushed aside preconceptions about her, kicking the door open to break boundaries and let her creativity, artistry and golden talent shine through as she takes the title as Belle of The West.

Samantha travelled to Zebra Ranch to record the album retracing the footsteps taken with Wild Heart (2015)  with the influence of Luther Dickinson and friends shining through but never dampening or curtailing the heady heights and depths of Fish interpretation of the blues her way.

Opening with American Dream the click of drums sticks beat of the drum and life gets the listener marching to Fish’s branded form of acoustic fuelled country blues.  With Luther Dickinson as the producer, we are promised from the first number a studio album that flexes its muscles with a natural fluidity the instruments and vocals find the tone taking the tune and vocals to unfold all the depths of roots music with a story to tell.  The tempo goes down and Sam’s vocals deepen as we find out why there is Blood In the Water. With fiddles and guitar, the story will not be a happy one as Lillie Mae on violin picks up with a haunting melodic riff. Infectious, beguiling as roots of Eastern European folk are entwined into hill country music. The sound is held together by the power and confidence of Samantha’s vocals. This is an original that just demands being heard on repeat.

The storytelling is the theme of the album, not power guitar chords and fast electric sound. The inclusion of the band talking before the music begins gives the album a personal and warm feeling. This is studio music kept close to the live sound. Now we are in another bar another hotel room alone with guitar and violin waiting for a call. Samantha captures the emotions and draws them out on every syllable sung we connect to her as she sings ‘Needing you more than you will ever know. We here all the conversations we have left unsaid’, emotions never shared and loneliness we have experienced as we get up close to the vocal glories that define the Belle of The West.

In between the originals are a trio of carefully chosen covers fitting perfectly as a glove into the tone and feel of the album. With Poor Black Mattie the tempo rises to match the beating of your pulse as the music soars through your soul sending tingles down your spine. RL Burnside feel and magic captured as Fish answers to Lightnin’ Malcolm’s call as gospel captured with some sweet harp lead breaks.  Lillie Mae’s Nearing Home is luscious full curling violin and as Samantha’s vocals take a dreamy air as the melody is woven into the lyrics.  Capping them is the title track from the pen of Jimbo Mathus.  We now are on the river riding the lady we love best. The music and tone shaped by the undulation on the river that like the whole album on every listen you hear another nuance and the deeper meanings behind the songs chosen by Samantha Fish.

With the deep bass, Samantha Fish on No Angels has backing vocals that add to the vibe and gives her something to work on as we find out there is No Angel around here full of deep bass grooves the Mississippi flows strongly through the music that captivates.  Samantha surrounded by quality musicians that add to the tracks, the central role throughout is the vocals that have a depth that colour the lyrics and shapes them with emotional maturity, empathy and understanding. The music is genuine and authentic, this is the sound that Fish wants to define her as 2017 closes. As the album reaches its finale we have Nearing Home percussive full lilting sound from the violin and Samantha poses the question where are we going? With a slowness that builds and weaves throughout the song.  Then the final track Gone For Good, leaving us with a foot tapping number. Gone for Good has a rawness, dirtier sound reflecting the lyrics and a celebration you are gone for good. Raw and dirty leaving you shouting don’t go Samantha Fish. Giving you the perfect excuse to slow down and sit back and rewind back to the beginning. You will cherish the time spent listening to the classy album Belle of The West.

The album is full of songs that just take time to get to know, this is an album that is not the product of the digital Download, listen for a few seconds or once then throw away. Belle of The West is an album to savour, get to know the intricacies of the instrumentation the style of the vocals capturing emotions as the story unfolds. Like friends, invest the time and get to know Samantha Fish, Belle of the West whether this is a pit stop on a journey of a musician maturing and developing her approach to blues. One thing is a certainty that like a good vintage on the sound, it grows in complexity with every tasty listen.

Belle of the West – Samantha FishRUF Records

TENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Track Listing

    1. American Dream
    2. Blood In The Water
    3. Need You More
    4. Cowtown
    5. Daughters
    6. Dan’t Say You Love Me
    7. Belle of the West
    8. Poor Black Mattie
    9. No Angels
    10. Nearing Home
    11. Gone For Good

     

    Samantha Fish the Belle of The West on this Album

Samantha Fish Raunchy Blues Excites Bristol

Samantha Fish Raunchy Blues Excites BristolSamantha Fish Raunchy Blues Excites Bristol. With mizzle in Brizzle tonight, fear not Samantha will be Gert Lush and blow away the miserable weather. Or – With drizzle in Bristol tonight fear not Samantha with be amazing and blow away the miserable weather. For lovers of Blues and live music, there were no Chills & Fever beckoning the crowds queuing for The Tunnels tonight. We were all excited to hear once again in Bristol the Belle Of The West, Samantha Fish with her band with two new albums there was going to be new music to experience live and up close.

A good turn-out tonight at The Tunnels this Tuesday evening supporting live music soaking in the atmosphere. Samantha Fish with her Chills & Fever Band were touring with not one new album but two. Tonight they also gave the enthusiastic audience a chance to hear tracks from Belle Of The West live. Two styles of Samantha Fish were on show with a dip into Wildheart as well. The set-list was a crowd-pleasing highway journey of energised rock, raw blues combined with a sultry air, no wonder The Tunnels was hot and steamy tonight.

Samantha Fish Raunchy Blues Excites BristolThe Chills & Fever band included horns which added another tonal layer to the music combined with a strong rhythm section, keys and the guitar and vocal thrills that Samantha brings to every show. First guitar of choice for Samantha tonight was her white SG, followed later in the set by her Fender Jaguar, as the night started with tracks from Chills & Fever including the title track. This was a different Samantha, full of feverish tempos with a vintage feel, with swing thrown into the blues medley.  Enthralled, captured in the web of Fish guitar magic as we were told You Can’t Go and Like A Baby. We were putty in her hands we just wanted more music and to hear some of the trademark raunchy country fueled music that put Samantha on our music radar.

Samantha Fish Raunchy Blues Excites Bristol

Then we had a change of tone and a new song with Blood In The Water and a darker guitar the Delaney with a great meaty tone, reflecting the signature guitar that Samantha never played tonight.  The synergy between Samantha and the band flowed throughout every track. Her warmth towards to audience was genuine as she greeted Bristol once again. The only cover of the evening was Nina Simone’s Either Way I Lose. Played with real emotions and the lead break joined in as the guitar cried reprising the lyrics. Following on from Wildheart’s, Highway’s Holding Me Now the two styles contrasting and shows the dexterity of Samantha’s vocal delivery. Always her vocals colour the lyrics with attitude. What a powerful, innovative lead break we were all entranced with the live version of Somebody’s Always Trying. Her command of her pedals and gadgets were showcased, capturing the power of the track.

The conversation flowed between Samantha and the audience and she chatted with the band as the question mark on the set list was reached. We were then treated into It’s Your Voodoo Working. Her Voodoo was working on the audience at The Tunnels tonight. We wanted this music to go on all night.  The duelling between the trumpet and baritone Sax was wicked.

 

Samantha Fish Raunchy Blues Excites Bristol

Samantha Fish Raunchy Blues Excites BristolThen we had the dirty sound we love as Crow Jane dirty cigar-box slide sound curled around the venue, would have loved to have had some of this Fish dimension earlier on in the set. Her understanding of pedals was highlighted with her dexterity as she knelt in front of the pedal-board and made the guitar sing. The wonder of live music up close and personal.

Now we cheered and demanded more and we were not disappointed with another two numbers first Samantha Fish on acoustic with Need You More from Belle of The West, come back and tour this album very soon, please. The last song of the night demanded some audience participation we were loud and enthusiastic as from Wildheart we heard Bitch On The Run to close the evening. Her guitar mastery sent Chills down our spines and her vocal power meant The Tunnels were at fever pitch tonight

 

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Samantha Fish Raunchy Blues Excites Bristol

 

Big Daddy Wilson Album Neckbone Stew is Perfect

Big Daddy Wilson Album Neckbone Stew is Perfect

 

Big Daddy Wilson Album Neckbone Stew is Perfect

 

Bluesdoodles recommendation to you is, switch off the phone, lock the doors sit back in a comfortable chair press play and Big Daddy Wilson’s Neckbone Stew will warm you aural senses as you are drenched in the music of Southern States of America.

As we step into the musical journey we start off at Cross Creek Road, opening with a deep, tuneful acoustic number reminding me of Eric Bibb in tone and texture. The title track reflecting the gospel intoning with his soulful vocals, stepping back to a time when he sang in Church back in Edenton, North Carolina. Then with a stylish swirl the beat picks up with a reggae rhythm overlaying vocals sung in a traditional blues style, the musicianship from his trio and guests makes the whole album sizzle with music that is soul food for your ears. Big Daddy’s combination of vocals that cajole and percussive beats are joined by bassist and vocalist Paolo Legramandi; completing the threesome is multi-instrumentalist
Cesare Nolli, Guitar, Drums, Percussion, Keyboard and Vocals. This threesome delivers on every track. The piano introduces us to Tom Cat and guitar that pulls us into a holler, in homage to his father John Henry Wilson. The emotion is raw and genuine the tone full of mournful intricacies. Follow that! Easy when you are Big Daddy Wilson with a number he wrote with Eric Bibb He’ll Make Away. A number that would sit with ease on any Bibb album it shows the versatility and dexterity of delta inspired traditional southern music.

Now a cover, no it is a complete rearrangement as Tracy Chapman’s Give Me One Reason is re-shaped into a delta-blues number, with the winning combination of Big Daddy’s vocals and Ruthie Foster. This is a stew that is shaped by delicious sounding varied music. We visit the love of bad food, with Cookies Gonna Kill Me. A real change for whiskey going to kill me blues. Up beat country fair dance tempo as Eric Bibb joins him on guitar and must be the first tine sugar diabetes has been a line in a song.

Closing out with The River, full of evangelical fervour with Big Daddy Wilson imploring the preacher is this a sign, slow and with an emotive edge. Closing the album with Peanut Butter Pic; up beat country blues that gets your feet tapping and now you are relaxed replete with Neckbone Stew.

Big Daddy Wilson has created musical concoction the effortlessly with artistry and feel blends, blues, roots, country spiritual, soul and reggae; this is music that flows mighty fine on the ear. The spicing in the musical mix is just right, it is definitely a bowl of Neck Bone Stew served at the right musical temperature!

Big Daddy WilsonNeckbone StewRUF Records

TENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. Cross Creek Road
  2. 7 Years
  3. Neckbone Stew
  4. I Just Need A Smile
  5. Tom Cat
  6. He’ll Make A Way
  7. Give Me One Reason
  8. Running Shoes
  9. My Babe
  10. Damn If I Do
  11. Cookies Gonna Kill Me
  12. The River

Musicians
Big Daddy Wilson – Percussions, Vocals
Paolo Legramandi – Bass, Vocals
Cesare Nolli – Guitar, Drums, Percussions, Keyboard, Vocals

Guest Musicians

Staffan Astner – Guitar
Eric Bibb – Guitar
Sven Lindvall – Tuba
Nik Taccori – Drums
Ruthie Foster – Vocals
Davide “Dave” Rossi – Keyboard
Alessandro Meroli – Horn, Flute
Paris Renita – Backing Vocals

Big Daddy Wilson Album Neckbone Stew is Perfect

Tuesday Night Brightened Devon Allman Live in Bristol

Tuesday Night Brightened Devon Allman Live in Bristol

Tuesday Night Brighten with Devon Allman Playing Live in Bristol

 

Tuesday Night Brightened Devon Allman Live in BristolKick starting the evening loud, Mark Pontin Group who had traveled over the bridge to open for Devon Allman once again tonight. His set had a jam feel that didn’t showcase the music from his albums. Joined by Gwyn Ashton slide guitar was added to the rock-blues mix. They certainly got the crowd ready and impatient to hear Devon Allman in Bristol tonight.

Tuesday Night was definitely brightened with Devon Allman Band in town to play live music at The Tunnels. We were in for a guitar driven festival of music that hits all the right pleasure spots. Devon, jams, moulding the southern riffs and licks with vocals that have a tale to tell. Tonight Devon dipped into his back numbers from Honeytribe through to the last three superb albums.

Tuesday Night Brightened Devon Allman Live in BristolThe band that surrounded Devon, had a raw energy that bounced of the tone and textural delight that is the winning combination that sets Devon above many other troubadours of modern song; his and voice, he warms the room, engages the audience and leaves them wanting more of his music. This is why the atmosphere was electric, the audience surged forward as Devon played from the edge of the stage. Tonight, weaving the numbers together from his three Devon Allman Band albums on this Ride Or Die World Tour, with artful covers and a dip back into time to the Honeytribe his glorious licks from his Les Paul, a beautiful listening experience.

Following on from a favourite opening number Wash In A, we stepped on the Ragged & Dirty trail with Half The Truth, with that familiar yell of inclusion from Devon as he got the crowd clapping. Flowed by the distinctive open cascading of notes leads us into Can’t Lose ‘Em All leading us as the dance rhythm hits into Devon’s vocals, rich more and emotive.  The room ant the The Tunnels was awash with the vibe of music that flows with an organic texture and form, not contrived this is music from the hearts, soul and talented fingers of every musician on stage. The interaction between Jackson Stokes animated playing and Devon was spellbinding it was music that you want every track to last longer.  The rhythm section, powerhouse to any band did so much more that keep the beat. Between bassist Justin Corgan and drummer Anthony Steinhaur they shaped the music; providing the strong base for Devon to fly from.

Tuesday Night Brightened Devon Allman Live in BristolFrom his time with Royal Southern Brotherhood, Left My Heart In Memphis joined the party, and it was a true Tuesday night party atmosphere as the wonderful lyrically driven Turn Off The World from Turquoise held us all in the hands of Devon’s guitar hands, with pick in his mouth and the fret board manipulated under his powerful direction.

Dipping into Honey tribe we heard Mahalo (Hawaiian for Thank you) from their debut album back in 2006, a wonderful instrumental that allows the instruments to communicate with you. The vibe is cool hints of Santana but one-hundred percent Allman a jam full of depth and wonder. We collectively thanked Devon for the music by loud cheers, clapping and dancing. We didn’t need any encouragement to participate in Bob Marley & The Wailers, No Woman No Cry. The Tunnels rocked on a Tuesday.

The music was an amalgamation that is all the strong with southern rock and the interpretations of the blues with Checking In On My Baby (Junior Wells); the music has a raw edge, slightly dangerous as Devon grins you are never sure what trickery will come out of the Les Paul. It always weaves its magic and tonight was no different.

Closing the set with Midnight Lake Michigan, we could not believe the time had flown by. The interludes and extras that Devon and the band blended into the set list let everyone shine a true celebration of music, live, dirty and energised. There had to be more in the bands tank of music. Yes, there was as they came back for a demanded encore. First, Devon teased us, with licks and riffs, named that tune. Before two numbers from Ride or Die Night Like This and Say Your Prayers. If we are good and say our prayers lets hope Devon Allman is back in Bristol real soon. As the last notes of the encore faded away with, we were all on a live music, Tuesdays just became a Saturday night as no-one was thinking about work the next day we had the uplifting melodies of live music, meeting of friends lingering in a haze of delights from Devon and the band.

You know it was a fabulous night when writing the review the music you choose has to be Turquoise, Ragged & Dirty & Ride or Die. However, good words can be let live music do the talking for you the energy s dramatic, uplifting and the perfect tonic for a Tuesday night in Bristol.

Tuesday Night Brightened Devon Allman Live in Bristol

Samantha Fish New Approach Gives You Chills & Fever

Samantha Fish New Approach Gives You Chills & Fever

Samantha Fish  New Approach Gives You Chills & Fever

 

 

Musically Chills & Fever hits you from the first note on Samantha Fish’s latest album.  This is something fresh, different a new dimension of the talented musician. The music gets under your skin, crawling through your veins the skilful blending of roots fueled guitar and vocals. This is blues blended like an aromatic gin, full of tones and sound shaped from Americana, a swirl of Detroit Mowtown with a pinch of punk this is blues that flashes with the musical taste that engages cutting across genres delivering music that we want to listen to. Samantha has surrounded herself with a powerful group of musicians, joining forces with the Detroit Cobras. Samantha Fish new approach gives you Chills & Fever, expect the unexpected a retro speakeasy gin cocktail hints of Blue Curaco full of music tones & textures

Opening with He Did It, the tempo fast the guitar sharp with Samantha’s vocals and punctuated by Marc Levron on Trumpet, you just know instinctively that this is an album that is blues being stretched and shaped into an exciting direction. The guitar has the distinctive Fish sound, the vocals are strong and dominate the instrumentation that cocoons the song but never curtails the wild side of the Samantha we know so well.

The title track follows early in the album with a change of tempo, sultry and taking the mood down from the gusty opener. Perhaps this would have worked better later in the album I wanted the Fever at this stage from Samantha not the Chills. That said it continues the vintage feel the opening track has as the Blues at the centre of the music is sent to a backwater for a recuperating rest. Samantha here is all Chills and Fevers, strong vocals and the horns curl around the lyrics delivered with authority. The cross-genre music with rock gently adding tonal currents to the delivery of the music as Hello Stranger picks up the rhythm, a tune for dancing and fun is back on the menu.

The album shaped by the production and recording in Detroit is a sidewalk that Samantha Fish is enjoying delivering, as she says You Can’t Go. Listen with open ears and enjoy an artist that refuses to be playing in a cul-de-sac of sound of her own creation. Fish on Chills & Fevers has stepped out onto the Highway of music that is infectious and full of bold beats and sonic colour. The journey continues with the earthy tones from Samantha and Travis Blotsky’s deep saxophone tones, Either Way We Love is a song delivered with maturity and passion. Slow with cat-like stealth we are drawn through the lyrics and music

With Crow Jane, we have the guitar sound we love as she revamps the classic number full of drama as we follow the story delivered with savage intent. This Piedmont standard is given the primeval treatment as Fish picks up the blues she left behind after the swampy It’s Your Voodoo Working.   The last track of the album is superb followed by a duo of bonuses. The last number I’ll Come running Over leaves you on a high as the jazz fueled retro Samantha Fish leaves you with Chills & Fever in your music bones.

Samantha Fish, out of Kansas, sweeping through the Delta and onwards to the tones of the city has blended the vocals, distilled the tones and created an album that makes you sit up and listen as Chills & Fevers sweep through your body.

 

 Samantha Fish  – Chills & FeverRUF 

EIGHTpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. He Did It
  2. Chills & Fever
  3. Hello Stranger
  4. It’s Your Voodoo Working
  5. Hurt’s All Gone
  6. You can’t Go
  7. Either Way I Lose
  8. Never Gonna Cry
  9. Little Baby
  10. Nearer To You
  11. You’ll Never Change
  12. Crow Jane

Bonus Tracks
Somebody’d Always Trying
I’ll Come Running Over

Musicians on Chills & Fever

Samantha Fish: Vocals, Lead Guitar
Joe Mazzola: Rhythm Guitar
Steve Nwara: Bass Guitar
Kenny Turdick: Drums
Bob Mervak: Electric Piano
Marc Levron: Trumpet
Travis Blotsky: Saxophone

Samantha Fish New Approach Gives You Chills & Fever

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

Si Cranstoun singing Old School Blues

Si Cranston-

 

Si Cranstoun singing Old School Blues

 

With the title track hitting the rock n roll groove, the clubs, dance floors and front rooms will be jiving with delight to Si Cranstoun’s Old School. The music is infectious the horns add that tonal depth that gets the hips swinging and the feet tapping and a smile on your face. Unpretentious this is music that hits the notes in all the right places.

The feel good, good time factor continues with the beat full of lively grooves. Si’s vocals tell the tale and we all want to listen and have a Cranstoun good time as he takes us to Vegas. The album is full of vintage gems and the musicianship understands the sunshine, mood enhancing music they want to deliver.

The lyrics are original with quirky corners, the vibe is one-hundred percent Rock n Roll with rhythmic blues. Nothing has been re-shaped or re-invented to make contemporary,  Si definitely is a band leader doffing his hat to the popular music that spans the 1940’s through to the early ‘60’s.
Close your eyes and you are back in the coffee shop putting pennies into the Jukebox with Jukebox Jump, down at the town hop on a Saturday night jiving and jumping this is pure nostalgia. The whole sixteen tracks of the album are filled with his golden vocals that curl around and pick up the stinging guitar sound he produces.

With a Christmas Twist, included in the mix a perfect jingling number to get the house into the Christmas spirit and closing with Happy Birthday, this is a sound track for any celebration where you want to smile, laugh dance and party!  Into the mix we meet Elise The Brazilian with a smooth stripped back vibe as the rumba collides with rock n roll. Squeeze into Skinny Jeans the sax’s are fat this is anything but a skinny sound, and we party with the Commoner and The King.

If you love vintage Old School rock rhythm and blues with a look back to Jackie Wilson Sam Cooke et al; this is the album for you.

Si Cranstoun – Old School – RUF Records

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

Track Listing

  1. Old School
  2. Vegas Baby
  3. Nighttime
  4. Run Free
  5. Right Girl
  6. Jukebok Jump
  7. Elise The Brazilian
  8. Count On Me
  9. Around Midnight
  10. A Christmas Twist
  11. Skinny Jeans
  12. Thames River Song
  13. Commoner To King
  14. Big Bess
  15. Lover Please
  16. Happy Birthday

Ride Or Die Sings Devon Allman’s Latest Masterpiece

Ride Or Die sings Devon Allman’s Latest Masterpiece

Ride Or Die Sings Devon Allman’s Latest Masterpiece

 

Ride Or Die, is a journey full of colour and texture in the tone. With flashes of blue and twists of granite rock and country green woven into a musical tuned magic carpet. The fabric of the album is the winning and beguiling combination of Devon Allman’s triumvirate of power in equal measure Songwriting, guitar and those vocals. Adding to the fabric that creates a sound that across the whole album is full of emotional outpourings that shape each song are the superb tones and textures from his band and guests on the album. The phrasing of every instrument adds a musical emotion, there are no unnecessary layers every instrument compliments each other and are servants to the heart of the lyrics telling a powerful story.

Deep bass driven rhythms are laid down, setting the individual tone and tempo of each track is the combination of Tom Hambridge on drums and bassist Steve Duerst. They set the groove that is dynamic, exciting and certainly never static they are the warp and weft of the fabric that is Ride or Die. The fabric of the music is stretched, turned and reshaped with the addition of Saxophone, violin, and keys augmenting the message when required. Then the main pattern of this magical musical carpet, reflected in the wonderful cover design full of colour from Pepe Paras, capturing the integral heart and complexities as Devon sings the songs you want to hear again and again.

The dozen tracks all have a place on the album and add to the Ride Or Die journey, from the opening track Say Your Prayers through to the last notes of A Night Like This. Instantly recognisable as a Devon Allman melody and driving riffs that pull in the vocals that just curl around the lyrics is the opening number Say Your Prayers.  The judicious us of the wah-wah pedal adds to the low down dirty howling tempo of the opening number. The beat changes as we Find Ourselves, with an underlying Latin dance vibe; this is found again later in the album with Pleasure and Pain. Demonstrating the deep links within whole roots scene of American music from the Blues to Southern Rock of influences from steamy Latin dance moves from the Rumba to the Tango.

The tempo changes with the acoustic guitar of Lost, and a country feel as Devon’s vocals speak directly to you with a simplicity of the melody line contrasting the poetic depth of the lyrics.  The wah pedal is again used as an effect that says more than a thousand words the hurt and pain of this beautiful number.  As Devon sings “ Your clocks are all spinning, Your compass is bleeding now, Your Maps are all burning baby, You couldn’t be more lost”. If I had to listen to just one track from the album this would be it.  There is a feeling of another place and time, yet Lost is completely grounded in the now, with experiences, hurt and feeling of being lost we have all experienced.

Watch What You Say, has a foot tapping tempo where guitar and vocals are underpinned with drumming that give the lyrics a sense of purpose and momentum this is music which rocks and rolls it is emotionally poetic, this is experiences of life that is more about tears than laughs.  Vancouver gives a time and place a location where we can re-set the journey. Melodic violin and Devon’s voice has a lighter tone, the lyrics though are full of yearning that the saxophone reflects. As we live a love story and how we could have done things differently if you only had a time machine.

As Ride Or Die’s musical journey only has three more stops, the acoustic is picked up again for Live From The Heart, a philosophical song ‘look to your heart look to your soul’. The keys give the track shades that make it glisten and stand out in a crowd of beautiful numbers. The reflective sound continues with Butterfly Girl, his voice deepens in a Country feel. Another song about relationships with a searing violin as Devon gives advice that is so difficult to enact. Giving people the freedom to fly while caring from them.  The melody has a looseness, a freedom that allows you to fly and look down on the emotional journey the album takes you on.
An imaginative cover of The Cure’s A Night Like This closes the album, that mixes the influences of modern music, blending them into a textural tonal carpet that you want to ride on forever.

Ride Or Die Sings Devon Allman’s Latest Masterpiece, with ten of the tracks written or co-written by Devon he captures the sound that defies boundaries of genres that has the freedom to be itself. Full of strong lyrics and heartfelt melodies.  This is an album that takes you on a journey full of anguish, hurt, pain and the pleasures of living life where you Ride or Die whatever your journey remember hope will be present.

Devon AllmanRide or Die – RUF Records

Release Date 16th September 2016

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

Track Listing

  1. Say Your Prayers
  2. Find Ourselves
  3. Galaxies
  4. Lost
  5. Shattered Times
  6. Watch What You Say
  7. Vancouver
  8. Pleasure and Pain
  9. Hold Me
  10. Live From The Heart
  11. Butterfly Girl
  12. A Night Like This

Devon Allman beguiles Swansea with Hot Swampy Rocking Blues

Devon Allman beguiles Swansea with Hot Swampy Rocking Blues

Devon Allman beguiles Swansea with Hot Swampy Rocking Blues

 

The second time Bluesdoodles have seen Devon Allman Band during 2016. Anticipation and expectation was very high as in the review of the night back in March in Derby ended with –  “A magnificent ending to a fantastic gig – WOW! – this was certainly going to be one of if not the Bluesdoodles gig of the year”.

Tonight the line-up as all American, as they stepped onto the stage, following a storming warm-up set from Texas Flood who never fail to please the audiences at The Scene. Joining Devon tonight guitarist and backing vocalist Bobby Schneck Jr, drummer Anthony Nanney and the only change in the line-up from March bassist Steve Duerst joining the band to add that twist to the blues, and rocking up the jam.

The venue was hot and there will be many in Wales who did not turn-out for this post Bank Holiday Tuesday that will be regretting it as friends tell them that this was a night to remember. Devon tonight was on sparkling form, his guitar was on fire the six-strings smouldered with emotion, the vocals soared through the venue and his shimmies across the stage picked up the mood and attitude of the music.

The set list picked out gems from his back catalogue with tracks from Ragged and Dirty including Half The Truth and Midnight Lake Michigan to close the set. Confirming that this album is full of textures and music that is tight with the band adding layers of sound for Devon to bounce off from. Once again, Booby Schneck Jr’s guitar was electric with controlled energy the two guitars fit each other perfectly with tones complimenting and never trying to outplay each other.

Celebrating the tenth anniversary of Torch we were treated to a live favourite Mahalo and Devon’s take on Bob Marley’s No Woman No Cry. The band adds to the flavor of reggae and makes the song their own and the Welsh audience delightedly joining in the chorus. Devon really enjoyed interacting with the crowds so we all sang No Woman not once, twice but many times.

Devon would not have the freedom to jam, play with his honey dripping fluidity of he did not have a rhythm section that ensured the shape of every number maintains, tonight Anthony Nanny’s drumming was exceptional, crisp and always empathetic to the sound being created. Whilst, bassist Steve Duerst created the core bass lines and then added some funk and interplay between himself and Devon

Within the music tonight was the undercurrent of the blues, the legacy of the impact that this roots music has had on popular American music as the jamming vibe and rocking beats add to the poetry of the lyrics.  It is all about the emotion and feel of the music, he refuses to be caged within a genre, as into the numbers latino beats of rumba and samba are melded in so that at times the lead breaks are redolent of Santana.

It is all about the music, as the only plug for his forthcoming album as at the beginning of the encore we all demanded. As he played the opening track of Ride Or Die, Say Your Prayers which really wooed the crowd. Tonight, at The Scene he left the stage, animated and interacting with the crowd as he stopped to have his picture taken never dropping a note as he jumped on the table and climbed over the sofa’s at the back of the venue. Devon was enjoying the party atmosphere and ensured everyone was joining in the fun!

Tonight, Swansea will say one prayer – come back soon Devon and enchant us some more. If I had to pick between Derby in March and Swansea tonight it is the Welsh gig. The band was driven by a lust for the music with St. Elmo’s Fire lighting up our music soul as the band hit us with music that we wanted to hear again and again.

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Make sure you go and see the phenomena that is Devon Allman and his band check out the remaining dates in the UK & Europe HERE

Take Me High With Laurence Jones New Album

Take Me High With Laurence Jones New Album

Take Me High
With Laurence Jones New Album

 

 

Back in the studio, Laurence Jones has produced an album that will make you want to return as you have a place to go despite the album’s title. Take Me High, produced by Mike Vernon, Laurence’s style and approach is mature, a real sense of purpose the blossoming of all the potential recognized in this young guitarist. With three studio albums under his belt and thousands of miles travelled to play the blues live, definitely a young guitarist with power, commitment, and a gritty determination.

This is an album whose music and lyrics ebb and flow. The collaboration between Laurence & Mike, has create a collection of songs that moved through the album like chapters in a book. Laurence with his new drummer Phil Wilson, bassist Roger Innis and Bob Fridzema on keys & organ wanted an album that fizzed with the energy of playing live.

The first thing you notice as the album opens with Got No Place To Go, the guitar is full, the bass line fat and Laurence vocals full of assured confidence. His guitar breaks, licks, and swirls have always lifted the imagination now his vocals are unveiling the story of why he has no place to go. He will always have a place to go with his snake charming guitar playing that lifts the tracks up and makes the sound pop out of the speaker.  With ten tracks this is an album where Laurence is stating I am here to stay this is who I am and Blues is what I play. The plaintiff Something’s Changed has a hard edge from his guitar and the rhythm is full of misplaced optimism as the phone call is waited for. Yes, something has changed Laurence is delivering a mature self-confident sound he is playing to delight and delight he does.  Three tracks in a guest vocalist Reuben Richards joins in as they Live it Up. The tempo kicks up a pace there is an airiness in the chord structure underpinned by Bob on keys. The guitar playing is masterful and the album leaves you wanting to go and see Laurence live, the tracks have that raw intensity that makes blues with a twist of rock addictive listening.

The chapters of a love story are revealed with every track. The keys, underpin the melodic force of I Will. Here we feel the emotion as Laurence promises to keep on loving I Will he sings, and then serenades the unseen lover with his ever-present blistering guitar that should melt any heart. The music changes with a dirty, swamp southern infused rock sound as he is Down & Blue. He is a long way from home, he wants some pills. The emotional angst is heard in the vocals and echoed by the vocals. We are feeling your pain, Laurence. Then the tempo clears and picks up with a clear vision as a cameo from Paul Jones’ harmonica joins the party. The harmonica curls around the lyrics as Laurence sings The Price I Pay and his fingers explore the fretwork. Closer with Higher Ground, the blues is chugging and the lyrics driving you home in the company of Laurence Jones, British, modern and full of the blues.

This is an album that grows with every listen. You hear more of the lyrics a guitar lick and the intertwining of Laurence and the whole band so the music is fat, full blues that captures the emotional feel of contemporary re-interpretation of blues.as personified with the ringing blues guitar with a brittle edge of the title track Take Me High!

 

Take Me High – Laurence Jones RUF Records

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

Track Listing

  1. Got No Place To Go
  2. Something Changed
  3. Live It Up
  4. Addicted To Your Love
  5. I Will
  6. Thinking About Tomorrow
  7. Take Me High
  8. Down & Blue
  9. The Price, I Pay
  10. Higher Ground