Mojo Found With Kaz Hawkins Full On Soul and Blues
Mojo Found With Kaz Hawkins Full-On Soulful Blues. How? The mesmeric power of Kaz’s tubes and a band that just understands her every nuance.
We are definitely ready after the amazing debut of Get Ready and having listened to Feelin Good Kaz raises her game and her second album is a triumph. With two covers the other eight tracks come straight from the big heart of Kaz whose emotional soul runs deep. Live the darling from Belfast mashes up the styles blending 1950’s swing dress with Dr Martens. The music is the same with the granite edge of rock with thick veins of blues, soul and a twist of gospel running through she moves you with her music. This is not Kaz Hawkins but Kaz Hawkins Band and the band fits around her attitude like a glove augmented with classy licks and bass that drives the tension through the album. Her band is a rhythm powerhouse, brothers Pete & Jan Uhrin originally from Slovakia have made Northern Ireland home for over 10 years. The synergy and natural initiative of understanding is a result of playing together since childhood. Guitarist Nick McConkey who has been with Kaz for over four years remains in the mix and joined by his cousin Deanne Jones on backing vocals. The band is tight and the controlling reins are firmly in Kaz’s hand as she shapes the music around her vocals and the lyrics that have deep meaning and are always personal.
No track is more personal than the official single and video release from the album a statement This Is Me. Opening with Kaz at piano and her voice deep with soul and emotional and then the words they are spell-binding. Stop what you are doing and listen this is a soulful philosophy for life This is Me and all I wanted to be. The guitar and drums add tonal textures as they take up the melody. Wow it is powerful yet never swamps the other nine tracks it fits into the flow. Opening with background studio you first hear Kaz saying she has lost her mojo. Oh no she hasn’t Pray is gospel A-Capella that draws you deep into the velvet complexity of Kaz’s vocals from the high to the low notes. The Drum joins with a pounding beat and we are off on a rollercoaster of emotions of Kaz Hawkins Band. We have a change of tempo with Don’t Make Mama Cry as the band sweeps Kaz along on a waterfall of rhythmic tempo. The title track nestled in the middle, is a sumptuous cover of a Newley & Bricusse number. Opening with chords from Nick’s guitar we wait for Kaz’s voice and now we have a gentle reflective tone and you are left moved as she sings the well-known refrain It’s a New Life a New Day.
How to follow that? Put some funk into the mix, with a deep opening bass as the instruments join in Kaz joins the party. Don’t Run Away, you won’t this is an album that beckons you to keep returning to. Closing with a Willie Dixon Classic I Just Wanna Make Love the circle closed and blues the strongest vein of shining blue is captured in the supremacy that is Kaz Hawkins.
On every listen there is another gem of instrumentation that you missed on the first, second and third listen. Every track has a different approach that needs time to explore and you will make the time to explore Kaz Hawkins and her band on this outstanding album Feelin Good.
Catch Kaz on tour it will be fun – for dates – click the link
Bluesdoodles gives this CD TEN doodle paws out of TEN ….
1. Pray (Hawkins)
2. It Ain’t You (Hawkins)
3. Don’t Make Mama Cry (Hawkins)
4. This Is Me (Hawkins)
5. Belfast Town (Hawkins)
6. Feeling Good (Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse)
7. Don’t Run Away(Hawkins)
8. Because You Love Me (Hawkins)
9. Soul Superstar (Hawkins)
10. I Just Wanna Make Love to You (Willie Dixon)
Feelin Good albums will be available for sale via the band’s website after 28th May 2016. Digital downloads will not available for the foreseeable future. The only other place to get a hold of the album will be from the Feelin Good UK Tour venues of which there is a comprehensive list on the band’s website.