Kaz Hawkins Solo Album Don’t You Know

Kaz Hawkins Solo Album Don’t You Know

Kaz Hawkins Solo Album Don’t You Know

 

 

Some albums can be dipped in and out of and others have to be listened to with an open heart and mind from the beginning to the end. This is such an album. This unexpected solo delivery from Kaz Hawkins is a concept album that is full of anguish, a glimpse of sunshine behind the tears and the sunny uplands, a journey where you learn about pain of walking a mile In someone else’s shoes. The individual segments are short, full of lyrical depth and the full glory of Kaz’s vocals powers soulful deep and then soaring into the clouds with freedom of tonal shape and texture.  Kaz without her band there is a vulnerability juxtaposed with a forceful strength as Sam York on the piano accompanies her on this the most personal of journeys.   The songs are all written by Kaz, with the inclusion of Hallelujah Happy People linking back to her album Get Ready.

The opening track Nendrum is a tonal poem, taking us back to the chants of a cloister combining with the clarity of her vocals as she sings ‘Hold Me Let me know…. And I’ll Meet you there’ gospel meets modernity. This mix of ancient and modern makes perfect sense as Nendrum refers to a 10th Century Monastic Site in Northern Ireland that Kaz visited during her mental illness melding the many voices with the eighty-one vocal takes from Kaz woven into the power of the opening number.

How to follow this intensity, complexity and simplicity captured in just over two minutes, with a melodic piano and our first introduction to Sam York and the choral delivery full of slow and a begging demand as Kaz begs ‘Don’t Slip Away’. The first single from the album, every download benefiting Aware NI. The spoken interludes bring this spiritual and meaningful album back into the now with her daughters Avril & Amy. The family is integral to the album with Amy singing backing vocals on My Daughter My Reflection and on the album cover Kaz’s Grandson, reflecting that her journey of trauma and anguish has bought her to this crossroad of confidence, love and family. The fourth track is well-known to anyone who has heard Kaz live, dedicated to her daughters Because I Love You working so beautiful in this re-arrangement, followed by the gentle spoken words from Professor Meg Tyler of Boston University who has worked with Kaz over the past few years where she has given lectures to BU Students on using music as a mental health tool; ending Don’t You Know.

Half way through and the power and confidence grows as the tone begins to change with a hint of defiance as Kaz sings about Surviving, seamlessly moving into Better Days. Pandora has dropped once again the magic of hope into the tempo. You can hear the smile, the hint of an infectious chuckle as Kaz sings this jazzy number that is accompanied by a chirpy piano beat.

The album is a different direction but we dip into soulful Alabama Blues with Alabama Love. Opening with a recording of a conversation and Kaz’s chuckle, these are people of Muscle Shoals Kaz met on a recent trip to Alabama.  The River That Sings, written about Tom Hendrix’s Wall and the legend behind the story the wall tells of his great Grandmother Te-lah-nay part of the Yuchi Indian Tribe who named the Tennessee River the River That Sings.  The piano adds a tension and undercurrent to Lipstick and Cocaine reflecting the props used as we go down the river of hell to emerge the other side to sing with joy in your voice Hallelujah Happy People. This is a song of life, dance and living the dream that is a reality built on a hurtful past.

The penultimate and title track, Don’t You Know is the gathering of the journey we have been on with Kaz her voice is deep soulful shimmering in blood red rubies nothing is crystalline clear like a diamond life led and prizes earned are much more complicated Don’t You Know.  Guitar from Sam opens the final number a homage to the beauty of her daughter with Amy joining in on the backing vocals pulling the album together, music and love the strength and heart of every breath, laugh and note sung by the amazing Kaz Hawkins.

Kaz Hawkins Featuring Sam York – Don’t You Know –                     ALBUM RELEASE 22nd July 2017

5% of album sales are to be donated to Aware NI for Charity Single Don’t Slip Away.

TENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. Nendrum
  2. Don’t Slip Away
  3. *Avril’s Interlude
  4. Because You Love Me
  5. Don’t You Know (Spoken Word)
  6. Surviving
  7. Better Days
  8. Alabama Love
  9. The River That Sings
  10. Lipstick & Cocaine
  11. Hallelujah Happy People
  12. Don’t You Know
  13. *Amy Interlude
  14. My Daughter My Reflection
  15. *Amy’s End

Pre-orders available until 27th June. Click HERE 

Sneaky preview

 

Kaz Hawkins Solo Album Don’t You Know

JW Jones Bringing Blues Joy to The Garage

JW Jones Bringing Blues Joy to The Garage

JW Jones Bringing Blues Joy to The Garage

 

 

JW Jones Bringing Blues Joy to The Garage

Saturday night The Garage, Swansea filled as we waited for Canadian Blues. Opening the proceedings tonight singer/songwriter Sam York. He shared a selection of his own work including Safety In Numbers and Crazy World. He entertained sharing that this is not his first time in Wales as he has previously played guitar with another – Jones, Tom! With a short break the second Canadian Act of Bluesdoodles in a few days stepped on the stage.

 

JW Jones Bringing Blues Joy to The GarageJW Jones is known for a high-energy show his Gibson Les Paul is magical putty with the deft Jones fingering. This award-winning act is in Swansea tonight showcasing his latest album Belmont Boulevard. This is a trio that has been exciting venues wherever he has played on the first U.K. tour for this pure blues trio. Accompanying JW on the stage were bassist Laura Greenberg and Mat Lapensee on drums. Opening with a great R&B instrumental to warm the venue, the perfect introduction for the Swansea crowd. The music flowed as the blues shaped some rock n’ roll and the rhythms were sharp and energetic then laid back and moody as the blues colours shifted tempo. The licks, riffs and hooks were silky smooth as the show unfurled with cadences of excitement. The stage was neat and tidy, no clutter from pedals and leads. Like JW the stage was as clean as the guitar sound. The Rhythm section was tight with flourishes that augmented the deep shifting urban blues Chicago in Swansea tonight. The medley showcased the slick guitar sound with Howlin’ Wolf and Willie Dixon linked by snippets of Smokestack Lightnin’; the lead breaks were lengthy but always swirling with innovation and the guitar at times physically wept. The drumming was deep and the bass a dark counterbalance to JW’s zinging energy from his six-strings. An instrumental medley of styles bought whoops of recognition as we heard Hendrix Bo Didley and so many more. This was blues entertainment not a churning out of one delightful tune after another. JW connected teasing the audience we were an integral part of the show.

JW Jones WM-8380Another track from Belmont Boulevard, Watch Your Step is energetic R’n’B at its best with solid rhythms giving JW the space to exploit his immense talents to the full. Buddy Guy and Jimmy Rogers visited The Garage tonight courtesy of the band. Then we had a change of tact, French Toast and it was “let’s swap instruments”. JW now the drummer, Laura lead guitar and Mat on Bass. This was fun and we loved the energy of the show and at the same time the authenticity of the blues that ran through your spine connecting your ears with your tapping feet. Following this as the show drew to a close a medley that was truly Name that Tune! This was mixed up guitar magic as we moved from Pop to sapphire sparkling blues and then a TV Theme tune and a hint of Rock, this was no mish-mash as the constant was JW Jones consummate guitar magic. There was one more piece of stage trickery as all three played the guitar at the same time, the behind the back playing for Laura and JW. These tricks showed the skills and the love of the blues. For Maria it will be always be a night to remember as JW danced with a pretty lady and played guitar without missing a note.

JW Jones Bringing Blues Joy to The GarageHigh quality entertainment with drumstick used as slide and superlative authentic blues guitar Canadian JW Jones makes his guitar talk and walk the blues.
JW was delighted to make Wales the 22nd country he has performed and wowed the crowds in. Back in the land of his fore-fathers his guitar playing was mesmerising and his vocals warm as they enhanced the whole experience. Swansea heard and felt the sinews of blues emotional magic weave around the venue tonight. Come back soon JW Jones.

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