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

Eric Johnson in Conversation Albums, acoustic and guitars

Eric Johnson in Conversation Albums, acoustic and guitars

Eric Johnson in Conversation Albums, acoustic and guitars

Eric Johnson, Grammy award-winning guitarist took time out to talk to Bluesdoodles about his first solo acoustic album EJ released on Mascot Group Label.

BD: What were your first musical influences growing up in Austin, Texas and beyond?
EJ: Lots there are some great bands and music in Texas. Johnny Richardson was a huge influence but there is just so much great music. I listened to all sorts of styles and players out there including Chet Atkins, Jerry Reed, Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, John McLaughlin, Eric Clapton Bill Conners, styles vary but always quality.

BD: How did you get into music were you from a musical family?
EJ: My brother and three sisters we all had piano lessons, learning classical music my parents were not musical but supported my playing. Then I had guitar lessons. I took up the guitar because everyone I was listening to was playing the guitar. I listened to all types of music not defined by genre The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, The Ventures. There were so many great dudes to listen to. The crossover with Ravi Shankar playing with Janis Joplin and others mixing it up, it was not about genres it was all about good music that excited.

BD: Having reviewed the Album, can you tell us Why a Solo album now having won countless awards and peer recognition is the acoustic another branch of the Johnson Guitar Tree
EJ: Well, I have always included one acoustic number on all my records. I have always enjoyed playing acoustic it is different from my solo electric guitar in a band. The essential in acoustic is a very good song that can stand on its own the words have to be very good. There is an immediacy in acoustic playing it is always a challenge to capture the song so it has a potency. The album is another voice of my guitar the album has an intimacy that only acoustic achieves.

BD: How did you choose the covers, especially deciding on opening with an instrumental version of Mrs Robinson
EJ: Well, Mrs Robinson came about fiddling with the tune on my own it sounded great and I was searching for a song to start the record. The realisation came that it might be the right way to start the album with the guitar getting the listeners attention. The other covers fitted in with my own tracks.

BD: I have always been interested in the lyrics of a song. Where do you get your inspiration for your songwriting?
EJ: Inspiration is everywhere. I have to allow the thoughts to unfold intuitively they evolve naturally. I have to stop the brain from interfering as too soon it clinches the lyrics so that they do not have time to develop naturally. The brain part is good to give the words a final polish but not too soon, you need to leave your creative window open for words to be descriptive painting a full picture. You need to be able to let your thoughts wander so there is a freedom in the construction of the lyrics. It was great fun to record a solo acoustic record, the simplicity there is an innocence in the process with a feel of naturalness with lyrics that can be obtuse like Wrapped In A Cloud.

BD: You have a big supporter in Joe Bonamassa. He and many other younger guitarists have named you as an influence…. Have you found this has been a boost to your own career?
EJ: Big admirer of what Joe Bonamassa does and it is very flattering that Joe and other guitar players respect and admire what I play. The reality is all guitarists learn from everyone else. I am genuinely honoured the other guitarists feel that way about my guitar playing.

BD: Did you always plan to be a musician and what advice would you give to budding professionals
EJ: Music was what I wanted to do my career developed I just kept playing with bands making original music. Kept rehearsing and working with different people. It was a step by step progression lots of practice and determination hard work eventually led to record deals and where I am today. The answer is if you want to achieve success it is about talent and hard work there is no easy simple route.

BD I am sure you have many plans for 2017 and beyond are you planning a UK/European Tour?
EJ: Now that is funny you should ask that question, we were discussing just that today a tour of Europe and the UK. Would love to visit the UK and tour all over especially like to see Eastern Europe.

BD: If you were putting together the perfect band with members from across the years (dead or alive) who would you have playing
EJ:
Bass: Billy Rich or James Jamerson… No I will have two bass players
Guitars: Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck and Wes Montgomery
Drums: Joe Morello
Vocals: Paul Rogers

Guitar Tech – Me When asked to jam I will say no I am listening to you guys that is enough for me!

Eric Johnson in Conversation Albums, acoustic and guitars
Photo Credit Max Crace

 

Eric Johnson –  EJ–  Release Date: 7th October 2016
Label: Provogue/Mascot Label Group

Read why Bluesdoodles said “EJ is an acoustic album that has an intimacy between performer and listener not often achieved on a studio album. The light and dark shadows and moody intensity all keep your attention on the lyrics and above all the melody.” HERE

 

 

Listen to Wrapped In A Could here:

We’re All Somebody From Somewhere reveals Steven Tyler

We're All Somebody From Somewhere reveals Steven Tyler

 

 

We’re All Somebody From Somewhere reveals Steven Tyler

REVEALS DEBUT SOLO ALBUM
WE’RE ALL SOMEBODY FROM SOMEWHERE
Available July 15th Worldwide

TITLE TRACK RELEASED JUNE 24TH

Iconic songwriter and prolific singer Steven Tyler revealed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show recently that his highly anticipated debut solo album will be released July 15th worldwide on Dot Records, underneath the Big Machine Label Group umbrella. The album is available for pre-order at the following link HERE.

Revealing the cover art while chatting with Ellen, Tyler shared that he co-produced the 13-track album entitled We’re All Somebody From Somewhere, alongside legendary musicians/producers T Bone Burnett and Dann Huff in addition to Marti Frederiksen and Jaren Johnston (The Cadillac Three). On June 24th, Tyler will release the album’s title track ‘We’re All Somebody From Somewhere’ across digital retail partners everywhere.

I headed down to Nashville last spring to start working on this project, wrote some kick ass songs with some of Music City’s finest songwriters and now we get to share them with the world on July 15,” said Tyler. “Country music is the new Rock ‘n Roll. It’s not just about porches, dogs and kicking your boots up. It’s a whole lot more. It’s about being real. And nothing is more real than understanding We’re All Just Somebody From Somewhere.”

Cited by Rolling Stone as as “one of the greatest singers of all time,” Tyler and Aerosmith have sold more than 150 million records worldwide. He has won four Grammy Awards, six American Music Awards, four Billboard Music Awards and an Emmy Award. In addition to having nine #1 hits, 25 GOLD, 18 PLATINUM and 12 MULTI-PLATINUM album certifications, the band was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2001. In 2013, Tyler was awarded with the Founder’s Award at the ASCAP Pop Awards and was inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame.

In November 2015, Tyler founded his philanthropic initiative Janie’s Fund , in partnership with Youth Villages to bring hope and healing to girls who have suffered the trauma of abuse and neglect.