Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa – Black Coffee (Limited Edition) (2018)

FrontCover1.jpgBlack Coffee is the third cover album recorded by American singer Beth Hart and blues rock guitarist Joe Bonamassa, released on January 26, 2018 on J&R Adventures and Mascot Label Group. It follows their 2013 cover album together titled Seesaw. (ny wikipedia)

Beth Hart first teamed up with guitarist Joe Bonamassa in 2011 and the partnership proved to be mutually beneficial. Hart gave the rock-edged Bonamassa some blues bona fides while the guitarist brought the vocalist to a wider audience. Plus, it was evident from their two studio albums and live set that the two had an easy chemistry: They shared a similar vernacular in Chicago blues and classic soul. The pair rely on that effortless interplay on Black Coffee, their third studio collaboration. Working with producer Kevin Shirley — a veteran of Black Crowes records who has been in the Bonamassa orbit since 2006 — the pair eschew straight traditionalism for a clean, colorful, retro vibe. Sometimes, the duo make choices that are perhaps a little too obvious — the covers of LaVern Baker’s “Saved” and Howlin’ Wolf’s “Sittin’ on Top of the World” are a bit on the nose — but they also know how to kick up the intensity on these chestnuts while avoiding sounding like they’re on steroids.

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Still, the highlights of Black Coffee are the originals and lesser-known songs, as they reveal that there is plenty of common ground between Hart’s testifying and Bonamassa’s shredding. Interestingly, that common ground feels formal in a way their individual solo albums don’t — respectively, Hart will delve into the personal spins on roots music while Bonamassa will indulge in blues myths — but that’s the appeal: They’re working on keeping the flame burning, and Black Coffee may be their most effective testament in that effort to date. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa’s third studio album of mostly soul and blues sticks to the formula of “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it,” and it serves them well.

Hart, a powerful singer also capable of nuance, is a good fit with Bonamassa, a guitar whiz with a wide range of sounds. They are bonded by their shared intensity, and the well-chosen repertoire, including many lesser-known tunes, gives them 10 opportunities to realize their potential.

Etta James songs are a staple of the duo and here they take on “Damn Your Eyes,” from 1989’s “Seven Year Itch,” one of James’ multiple “comeback” albums across the years. R&B diva Lavern Baker gets two nods, “Soul on Fire” and “Saved,” while “Lullaby of the Leaves,” a ballad with a scorching Bonamassa solo a la Gary Moore, dates back to the early 1930s.

Other songs include “Joy” from Lucinda Williams, Kansas Joe McCoy’s “Why Don’t You Do Right,” and the title track, Ike & Tina Turner via Steve Marriott.

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Horn arrangements from Lee Thornburg, tasteful backing vocals and excellent keyboard parts from Reese Wynans, who used to play with Stevie Ray Vaughan, all help “Black Coffee” percolate into a tasty brew.

Album closer “Addicted” is a real gem, originally released in 2007 by Austria’s Waldeck. It has elements of a James Bond theme, shades of the tango and, unsuprisingly, a certain European vibe. Hart imbues it with passion, as do the Bonamassa and Wynans solos.

The world is full of little underappreciated treasures. If Hart & Bonamassa and producer Kevin Shirley can keep finding them, there’s a bright future in the grooves for more albums like this truly fine effort. (vy Pablo Gorondi)

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Personnel:
Joe Bonamassa (guitar)
Paulie Cerra (saxophone)
Ron Dzuibla (saxophone)
Anton Fig (drums, percussion)
Beth Hart (vocals)
Rob McNelley (guitar)
Michael Rhodes (bass)
Lee Thornburg (trumpet, trombone)
Reese Wynans (keyboards)
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background vocals:
Jade Macreae – Juanita Tippins – Mahalia Barnes

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Tracklist:
01. Give It Everything You Got (Winter/LaCroix) 4.37
02. Damn Your Eyes (Wyrick/Bogard) 4.33
03. Black Coffee (I.Turner/T.Turner) 4.16
04. Lullaby Of The Leaves (Petkere/Young) 5.43
05. Why Don’t You Do Right (McCoy) 4.35
06. Saved (Leiber/Stoller) 3.50
07. Sitting On Top Of The World (Vinson/Chatmon) 3.58
08. Joy (Williams) 4.23
09. Soul On Fire (Ertegun/Wexler) 5.02
10. Addicted (Engel/Waldeck) 3.40
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11. Come Rain Or Come Shine (Arlen/Mercer) 4.35

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Kofi Baker’s Cream Experience – Live In Bremen (2016)

FrontCover1CREAM was not only the first, but also THE mega-group of all times. Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker produced so much musical material in only two years, which would have taken other bands decades. Songs like “Sunshine of Your Love”, “White Room”, “Dance the Night Away” and of course “I Feel Free” still are timeless classics, that are constantly rediscovered and reinterpreted by various artists. With his band Cream Experience, Ginger Baker’s son Kofi revives this genius blend of Blues, Hard- and Psychedelic-Rock and presents it together with Chris Shutters and Bob Willemstein in a raw, original and powerful way. Of course, the unique personal style of these great artists influences the recorded music and thus, a whole new experience is created also for veteran fans of Cream. This CD was recorded at a concert hosted by the legendary Meisenfrei Blues Club in Bremen. (taken rom the linernotes)

Kofi Baker’s first live performance was with his father on the UK television show “The Old Grey Whistle Test” – at just six years of age he proved he had inherited more than just his fathers name.In the early 80’s, Kofi and his father played drum duets throughout Europe, amazing audiences with complex African polyrhythms. Later, Kofi toured with John Ethridge (Soft Machine), and gigged in London with Steve Waller (Manfred Mann), and with Randy California (Spirit). He also toured Europe with Steve Marriot’s Humble Pie. During the 1990’s Kofi toured with Jack Bruce in Budapest; signed with Scotty Brothers Records when he recorded the album Lost City; recorded Abstract Logic with Jonas Hellborg and Shawn Lane; and toured extensivley – including more drum duets with Ginger Baker.

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In 1994, Kofi headed off for the USA and for some time lived with his father Ginger Baker in Colorado. Footage of this can be seen in the Ginger Baker Rockumentary ‘Beware of Mr Baker’ and more stories in the Ginger Baker autobiography ‘Hellraiser’ & GingerBaker.com. More recently Kofi has completed The Extreme Guitar Tour (2015) with Uli Jon Roth (Scorpions), Vinny Appice (DIO, Black Sabbath) Vinnie Moore (UFO). In 2017, Kofi joined forces with Malcom Bruce (Jack’s son) and Will Johns (Eric Clapton’s nephew) to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Cream with tours in Australia and New Zealand, with eyes set on a US tour in 2018. While on break from touring, Kofi runs his own drum school which spawned many loyal fans and pupils; anyone attending his clinics can testify to his easy friendly manner and the excellent way he communicates his passion to others.

Kofi was first inspired to form his own Cream band after seeing the Cream reunion in 2005. He wanted to continue where Cream, and his father, had left off. Kofi’s band is the ultimate Cream tribute: combining Cream’s innovative and experimental style with virtuoso talent. The dynamic three-piece effectively capture Cream’s mood and energy, adding their own distinctive styles.

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Kofi Baker´s Cream ist probably the best Cream cover band … and they did a real good job … bit aftzer listening to this 2 disc album I had the need to listen to the originals of one of the findest bands ever !

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Personnel:
Kofi Baker (drums, percussion, vocals)
Chris Shutters (vocals, guitar)
Bob Willemstein (bass, vocals)

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Tracklist:

CD 1:
01.White Room (Bruce/Brown) 8.47
02. Politician (Bruce Brown) 6.16
03. Outside Woman Blues (Reynolds) 3.23
04. Sleepy Time (‘Bruce/Godfrey) 7.24
05. I’m So Glad (James) 6.37
06. Presence Of The Lord (Clapton) 4.53
07. Pressed Rat And Warthog (Baker/Taylor) 4.56
08. Do What You Like (G.Baker) 3.42
09. Drum Solo (K.Baker) 15.22

CD 2:
10. Sunshine Of Your Love (Bruce/Brown/Clapton) 5.58
11. Little Wing (Hendrix) 7.53
12. Badge (Clapton/Harrison) 3.53
13. Can’t Find My Way Home (Winwood) 4.55
14. Deserted Cities Of The Heart (Bruce/Brown) 7.49
15. Spoonful (Dixon) 10.07
16. She’s So Heavy (Lennon/McCartney) 7.00
17. Crossroads (Johnson) 6.34

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Miller Anderson – Through The Mill (2016)

FrontCover1.jpgMiller Anderson (born 12 April 1945, Houston, Renfrewshire, Scotland) is a UK-based blues guitarist and singer. In the formative years of the 1960s, before either of them achieved significant success, he worked extensively with Ian Hunter in bands such as The Scenery and At Last The 1958 Rock ‘n’ Roll Show (later called Charlie Woolfe) and is referenced in the title track of Hunter’s 1976 album All American Alien Boy (“well I remember all the good times me and Miller enjoyed, up and down the M1 in some luminous yo-yo toy”). Anderson would later guest on two Hunter solo albums.

Apart from pursuing his own solo career, he was a member of the Keef Hartley Band (this band played with Miller in Woodstock). Other groups Anderson has been associated with are; the Spencer Davis Group, Broken Glass, The Dukes, Mountain, Savoy Brown, T.Rex and Chicken Shack. In early 2006, he joined The British Blues Quintet with Maggie Bell, Zoot Money, Colin Hodgkinson and Colin Allen.

In the Spring of 2016 Anderson returned to the studio and in July 2016 released a new album, Through The Mill. (by wikipedia)

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In 2018 and 2019 he toured with Pete York´Rock & Blues Circus (featuring, Zoot Money, Roger Glover and Albie Donnelly) and played many gigs with his own Miller Anderson Band.

This album from 2016, recorded with established media composer Jeremy Sherman, is a varied collection of 12 original compositions ( one co-written with Sherman ) taking in Blues, Rock, Folk , Americana & Latin.

His partner on this album was Jeremy Sherman:

Jeremy Sherman has spent over 30 years playing in a wide variety of bands in the UK and abroad, taking in such styles as Ska, Folk, Jazz, Cajun, Country, Rock, and Blues. Over the past 10 years, he has pursued and developed his love of writing and recording his own material for a variety of Film, TV, and Commercial projects.

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Jeremy also produces CDs for local musicians and his own Celtic/Americana/World outfit. A completely self-taught musician, he is proficient on electric and acoustic guitars, dobro, bass, and keyboards. (by radiosparx.com)

Top notch Miller Anderson effort. I have most of his work and this one is right up there with the best of them. Better with age just like fine wine. A must have for fans and a good place to start if you are new to Miller Anderson. (Bill)

On other word: Another superb album by one of the most criminally underrated musician … hew´s a realo unknown hero …

His mixture of Folk, Jazz, Cajun, Country, Rock, and Blues is unbelieveable good !

And the song “Broken Glas” was recorded in 1975 for a rare Stan Webb project called “Broken Glass” (s real fantastic album) featuring Miller Anderson.

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Personnel:
Miller Anderson (vocals, guitar, harmonica)
Jeremy Sherman (keyboards, synthesizer, guitar, pedal steel-guitar, banjo, dobro, drums, percussion)

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Tracklist:
01. Strange Days (Anderson) 4.35
02. John Sugrue (Anderson)4.23
03. Where Is Your Heart (Anderson/Sherman) 4.59
04. Through The Mill (Anderson) 4.11
05. Life Is All We Have (Anderson) 4.29
06. Broken Glass (Anderson) 3.33
07. Old Friends (Anderson) 4.07
08. The Island (Let Yourself Go) (Anderson) 3.52
09. Here Come The Tears (Anderson) 4.17
10. Nobody Knows (Anderson) 4.14
11. A Hard Road Down (Anderson) 4.08
12. Wintertime Blues (Anderson) 2.29

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Joanna Connor – Six String Stories (2016)

FrontCover1.jpg“Six String Stories” was Joanna Connor’s first studio album release in 14 years !

In the language of social media, the video clip of Joanna Connor at the 2014 North Atlantic Blues Festival went viral. She gives the rapt audience a three minute display of her astounding slide guitar playing, a performance that has been viewed over 870,000 times on-line. For many people, that may have been their first exposure to Connor – but Chicago-area fans have reveling in her club performances for several decades, reaching back to her first release, Believe It, in 1989 on Blind Pig Records.

After a fourteen year recording hiatus that had Connor focusing on raising her daughter, she is back with her second release for M.C. Records. Exploring that vast territory where blues and rock converge, she offers plenty of fiery playing that mirrors what viewers saw in the video. Take “Halsted Street,” a brooding instrumental with some gentle acoustic guitar wrapped around eerie, effects-laden electric tones. Suddenly, her guitar erupts with a solo sequence that would make Eddie Van Halen proud. The slow blues, “We Stayed Together,” centers on her impassioned vocal bracketed by two penetrating guitar interludes.

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Her slide guitar dominates the first two tracks. On “It’s A Woman’s Way,” Connor encourages her daughter to take advantage of the expanding opportunities available to women, then illustrates the message with taut slide licks over the hard-charging rhythm laid down by Marion Lance Lewis on drums, bass, and percussion. Personal relationships are explored on “By Your Side,” but it quickly becomes apparent that any man would struggle to match the attachment Connor has to her guitar. The ballad “Golden,” penned by Jill Scott, shifts to a softer approach centered on the acoustic guitar and Jeff Lewis on an electronic keyboard A spoken passage finds the singer asserting, “I am not second-rate or an after-thought for anybody. Come direct or don’t come at all. No silver or bronze for me!”

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“Love Coming On Strong” is a primal stomp about love swirling out of control, following the instrumental “Swamp Swim,” with guest Omar Coleman’s harp intertwining with unearthly slide tones to form a haunting sonic landscape. Connor shifts to a more positive frame of mind on “Heaven,” the arrangement bolstered by Charlie Kimble on tenor sax, Gary Solomon on alto & soprano sax, and Charles Pryor on trumpet/flugelhorn. Lewis is moved by the spirit, preaching with the fervor of true believer. A staple of her shows, Connor shows her interpretive skills on a live recording of the Elmore James classic, “The Sky Is Crying,” her nimble six-string phrasing mirroring the agony in her voice. “Young Women Blues” is a dreamy stroll that mixes jazz elements through a tremolo-induced haze.

Appropriately titled, Six String Stories should build on the world-wide interest generated by that short video. Once people hear Joanna’s new disc, no one is going to classifying her as as anything other than first-rate. (Mark Thompson)

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Personnel:
Omar Coleman (harmonica)
Joanna Connor (guitar, vocals)
Charlie Kimble (saxophone)
Jeff Lewis (keyboards)
Marion Lance Lewis (bass, drums, percussion, synthesizer, vocals)
Charles “Richard” Pryor (flugelhorn, trumpet)
Gary Solomon (saxophone)
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background vocals:
Hope Lewis – Steve Lewis

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Tracklist:
01. It’s A Woman’s Way (Connor/M.Lewis) 4.11
02. Your Side (Connor/M.Lewis) 5.05
03. We Stayed Together (Connor/M.Lewis) 5.32
04. Golden (Bell/Robinson/Robinson/Scott) 4.32
05. Swamp Swim (Connor/M.Lewis) 4.09
06. Love Coming On Strong (Connor/M.Lewis) 4.00
07.  Heaven (Connor/M.Lewis) 5.58
08. Halsted Street (Connor/M.Lewis) 4.39
09. The Sky Is Crying (Robinson/Lewis/James) 5.47
10. Young Women Blues (Connor/M.Lewis) 4.30

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Batalion d’Amour – Fenix (2016)

FrontCover1.jpgEleven long years after their last full-lenght, Niya, the Polish female fronted combo Batalion d’Amour returns among the living with their sixth album. If the band went through some major line-up changes in the past, current members are surprisingly the same as in 2005, but from the original line-up (note that this band was founded in 1989), remains only the bassist Piotr Grzesik and drummer Mariusz “Pajdo” Pająk. Batalion d’Amour released their debut album, Labirynt Zdarzeń, almost ten years after the formation, and at that time their style was typical dark wave/gothic rock, but soon after their sound got new dimensions, especially when the current singer Karolina Andrzejewska replaced Anna Blomberg-Gahan in 2001. Songs of the band got more depth, even more heaviness with addition of heavy riffs, but most of all everything became more subtle, catchy, romantic and with a high dose of sensibility.

As the band stated, the name of the album symbolizes rebirth, magic and creativity. Fenix consists of eleven original tracks plus four bonuses, and like in the past almost all of them, except one, have Polish lyrics, but believe me that this is just a plus to their already magical soundscapes. Karolina’s captivating, dynamic, rich, yet romantic and highly emotive voice combined with Polish lyrics is so very flowing and soothing, for some listeners it might be also a bit exotic. Also the instrumental side, with many addictive parts, leaning now more than ever towards synth rock, gothic and even progressive rock/metal, with a huge dose of atmosphere and catchy pop melodies offers sometimes an otherworldy sonic experience. There’s still present some dark wave and absolutely the band doesn’t forget their roots in gothic rock, just listen to those typical sparkly gothy guitars and strong reverberate bass lines in almost every song, not to mention those gloomy synths and electronics that so smoothly deepens the whole ambiance.

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The first two tracks, “Bez Nas” and “Charlotte”, are nothing but mesmerizing hits that are so very addictive, catchy, with great melodies and rich ambiance that it’ll be nothing strange if you’ll start subconsciously to sing those choruses. Great vocals, intriguing guitar job, almost danceable rhythms, but still very emotional and melancholic. I was also moved by rather dark and climatic piece “Moje Remedium”, where Karolina gets company by Tomasz Grochola from their country mates, industrial act Agressiva 69. Tomasz deep and dark voice perfectly suits Karolina’s sensitive voice and together they offer such a fantastic vocal duet. As well the most experimental, yet very progressive with some driving heavy guitars and in its essence still dark song, “Mechaniczny”, nicely shows that Batalion d’Amour are capable of crossing genre borders with style just to make their sonic output even more dramatic and intriguing. Oh, and how tender, vulnerable and almost erotic is the voice of Karolina, but as well how very haunting is the instrumentation in “Za Granica Marzen”, absolutely beautiful. All of these elements are then perfectly blended together in the epic “Zawróceni” which is more than nine minutes long composition. As well the groovier tracks like “Miedzy Slowami” and “Ktos Calkiem Obcy” are quite elegant and add a lot to the dynamics of this album. There are some mellow tracks, one of them is a try with English lyrics in the sensual, with a celtic scent, acoustic ballad “The Lost Diary”, which features John Porter as Karolina’s duet partner, and also typical gothic/pop rock in “Dwie Prawdy” could be more elaborated. But ok, I’m fine even with this, it’s not that those songs are bad in any way, but the band set the standards so very high with previously mentioned highlights.

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The album ends with four bonus songs that are all alternate versions of the hit single “Charlotte”. One is a nice acoustic version, the next one is an English version of the song, where the band finally shows that they can make great songs also with English texts, plus there is an interesting dancefloor mix of the song done by Pawel Penarski, who’s the author of remixes of such famous artists like Ellie Goulding, and in the end the shortened radio edit of it. If the band put a lot of effort in those compositions, unfortunately I must give some critics to the front cover artwork, it’s just too simple and it doesn’t reflects the music as it should, but on the other side the inlay, the twenty page booklet is done just fine, where beside nice artwork the band inserted English translations of all lyrics. All in all, Fenix is a great return for Batalion d’Amour and I hope that we’ll not have to wait another ten or more years for the next release. Fenix is an addictive and captivating storm of beautiful yet refreshing dark rock music! Believe me that it’ll be a huge mistake if you’ll miss this album. (terrarelicta.com)

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Personnel:
Karolina Andrzejewska (vocals)
Piotr Grzesik (bass, vocals)
Robert Kolud (guitar)
Mariusz “Pajdo” Pająk (drums, vocals)
Mirosław Zając (keyboards)

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01. Bez nas 5.56
02. Charlotte 5.08
03. Między słowami 4.28
04. Zawróceni 9.33
05. Za granicą marzeń 4.51
06. Moje remedium (featuring Tomasz Grochola) 4.42
07. Ktoś całkiem obcy 4.17
08. Dwie prawdy 5.44
09. Zaklęty 5.55
10. The Lost Diary (featuring John Porter) 4.08
11. Mechaniczny 4.33

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Soul Asylum – Change Of Fortune (2016)

FrontCover1.jpgChange of Fortune is Soul Asylum’s 11th full-length studio album and the long-awaited follow-up to their 2012 studio release Delayed Reaction. It was released on March 18, 2016. It is their first album released on Entertainment One. (by wikipedia)

Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Alternative Rock band Soul Asylum has been a force to be reckoned with for thirty-five years. Influenced by local area Punk legends such as Suicide Commandos, the band led by Vocalist/Guitarist Dave Pirner forged their own sound and quickly hit the tour circuit in their home state. Then, in 1984, their dreams came true when signing on with Minnesota’s own Twin/Tone Records to release their debut album Say What You Will…Everything Can Happen. Sleeping on floors and not eating the best food, the band continued on for many years, releasing four more studio albums before really breaking into the mainstream with their 1992 Columbia Records debut, Grave Dancers Union. Anchored by hit singles such as “Somebody to Shove,” “Black Gold,” and of course, “Runaway Train,” Grave Dancers Union has since gone triple platinum.

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Following up their commercial success strong in 1995 with Let Your Dim Light Shine, 1998’s Candy from a Stranger would be their final record of the millennium and with an uncertain future. Taking time to reassess what they wanted, tragedy struck in 2005 when long-time Bassist and friend Karl Mueller passed from cancer. Extremely emotional from the loss, Pirner carried on and returned with Soul Asylum in 2006 with The Silver Lining. A record well-received by fans, Soul Asylum would continue on touring with a few different lineups and has been settled with Drummer Michael Bland, Bassist Winston Roye, as well as Guitarist Justin Sharbono since around 2012. Now following up four years after the impressive Delayed Reaction record, the band is back with Change of Fortune. Released via new label Entertainment One, Change of Fortune is the band’s eleventh overall album and was released as of March 18th.

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A record a few years in the making, Change of Fortune is twelve tracks of high energy beginning with “Supersonic” as sound effects bring in an upbeat melody as the group seems to sing about addiction. Next, “Can’t Help It” has a Funk vibe driven by a sharp guitar riff with the banding singing about temptation. Moving on, “Doomsday” has a hair band flavor, but with Soul Asylum sensibilities with Pirner’s unique vocal inflections while he sings of the inevitability of the end of the world coming, but not now, so live it up. Cellos lead into “Ladies Man.” This track has a Pop-like feel as the melody progresses, then, listening to the lyrics, the tongue-in-cheekiness comes through by the end, “He’s a ladies man/and she’s a lady…man.”

“When I See You” takes some light, retro Electronica and mashes some Pop to come up with a catchy tune that has a confessional feel as the message of being the person you really are. A high-tempo anthemic beat is “Moonshine.” This track has a fun melody, but there seems a bit of uncertainty as Pirner wonders if the good time is genuine, or helped with drink. Going harder, “Make It Real” has a drum-driven melody with the guitars shredding in the accompaniment. The group seems to sing of someone who spins a web of stories that there is no possible way they can make true. Returning to the Funk flavor, “Dealing” has an “I told you so” vibe to the beat with the head-bobbing drumline as the guitar slides in as the group seems to continue the last track’s theme, but taking it further with the person being out.

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“Don’t Bother Me” has a mid-tempo, “take it in stride” melody, literally. This song has an Alternative Folk/Pop beat that accompanies the lyrics that talk about rolling with the punches of life. Pirner’s voice gives “Morgan’s Dog” the Black Comedy, story-esque delivery it needs with the mid-tempo, Folksy melody. This track just needs to be experienced. The album’s title track, “Change of Fortune,” is a Ska-esque intro followed by an Alternative/Psychedelic melody with a hip, laid back vibe where the band sings of life not always being one-note. Change of Fortune draws to a close with “Cool,” a funky finale with tasty riffs as the band wants to know if they are cool enough for their ladies.

Soul Asylum’s long career has had extreme highs and lows to channel those feelings into a fun, sometimes confessional set of songs that are relatable without being preachy. This latest effort sees the band expand their horizons and push the envelope in a variety of different directions. In all, it is successful and Soul Asylum should finally get the attention they deserve as one of the best Alternative Rock bands of the last three decades. (by Jason Rhode)

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Personnel:
Michael Bland (drums)
Dave Pirner (vocals, guitar)
Winston Roye (bass)
Justin Sharbono (guitar, background vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Supersonic 3.01
02. Can’t Help It 3.01
03. Doomsday 2.59
04. Ladies Man 3.23
05. Moonshine 4.03
06. Make It Real 2.19
07. When I See You 3.47
08. Dealing 4.05
09. Don’t Bother Me 3.28
10. Morgan’s Dog 3.36
11. Change Of Fortune 2.56
12. Cool 2.55

All songs written by Dave Pirner

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Yoshiko Ieki – Toccatas Vol. 1. (J.S.Bach) (2016)

FrontCover1.jpgThe Japanese harpsichordist, Yoshiki Ieki, studied harpsichord with Gustav Leonhardt at the Amsterdam Sweelinck Conservatory, where she graduated wirh a soloist diploma in 1981.

And on this album she played on a very old instrument from Johannes Ruckers, part of the legendary Ruckers family:

The Ruckers family (variants: Ruckaert, Ruckaerts, Rucqueer, Rueckers, Ruekaerts, Ruijkers, Rukkers, Rycardt) were harpsichord and virginal makers from the Southern Netherlands based in Antwerp in the 16th and 17th century. Their influence stretched well into the 18th century, and to the harpsichord revival of the 20th.

The Ruckers family contributed immeasurably to the harpsichord’s technical development, pioneering the addition of a second manual; the quality of their instruments is such that the name of Ruckers is as important to early keyboard instruments as that of Stradivarius is to the violin family. In the 18th century, Ruckers instruments were often modified by French makers in a process known as ravalement, to allow for an extended range and other additions.

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The Colmar harpsichord from 1624

Joannes Ruckers (variants: Ioannes, Hans, Jan) (15 January 1578 – 29 September 1642) was the first son of Hans Ruckers, and also became a harpsichord and organ maker. He lived his life in Antwerp. He and brother Andreas became partners in their father’s business upon his death, Joannes becoming sole owner in 1608. He joined the Guild of St Luke in 1611; his entry reads ‘Hans Rukers, sone, claversigmaker’; following this he engraved ‘IR’ into the rose of his instruments, rather than his father’s ‘HR’. He worked for the archdukes of the Netherlands in Brussels from 1616. His nephew Joannes Couchet joined his workshop around 1627, taking it over after his death. Around 35 of his instruments are in existence today. (by wikipedia)

And here´s a short biography of Yoshiko Ieki:

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This album was recorded at the Under Linden Museeum in Colmar/France … on an original harpsichord from 1624 !

And … the music is just brilliant … listen to this fascinating melodies and sounds of an old harpsichord ! Enjoy this trip … !

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Personnel:
Yoshiko Ieki (harpsichord)

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Tracklist:
01. Fantasia & Fugue in A Minor, BWV 904 / 8.45
02. Toccata in E Minor, BWV 914 / 8.21
03. Toccata in D Minor, BWV 913 / 13.21
04. Toccata in F-Sharp Minor, BWV 910 / 11-36
05. The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2:  Prelude & Fugue No. 14 in F-Sharp Minor, BWV 883 / 6.59
06. Toccata in G Major, BWV 916 / 9.12

Music composed by Johann Sebastian Bach

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