Not since the days of the early seventies have I heard a band capture the sounds of that era as if they had recorded their music during that time period. But looking at the date of 2012 assures me it is only Pristine that is taking me on a journey that shows the influence of such rock bands as Savoy Brown, Bloodrock, The Allman Brothers Band (early period) as well a host of other blues rock bands of that era. Pristine is lead by a female singer and that uniqueness is makes it double enjoyable. When Zephyr released its first LP Candy Givens was a female blues rocker that took the music to the very edge. Pristine is a blues rock band that relies on Heidi’s vocals and the warm feel of the keyboards to propel the song along for the guitarist to lead the journey back into the halcyon days of such artist as mentioned earlier. Blues rock is what Pristine Detoxing is about. Soulful. painful and gut wrenching emotion. Few bands blend this sound with modern music but Pristine not only blends the blues rock of the late sixties and early seventies but they also create a new, ready for action 2012 sound that is as tight and as powerful as any other artist of this genre. Heidi’s vocals soar and fly into the face of the listener from all different emotional points. Down and dirty, wailing and pain filled. Desperate and lonely. This is the blues rock of Pristine.
One of the most interesting points is this is a live studio recording that takes the listener through a journey of different emotional feelings without ever loosing a beat. Espen Jakobsen guitar soars and dives and through the emotion of the blues. Anders Oskal organ feels the CD with a powerful and warm soaring organ that reminds one of the days of Hammond B3 with a Leslie attachment that drove such bands as the Allman Brothers. The rhythm of Asmund Eriksson, bass guitar and Kim Karlsen, drums and percussion keep the music rock solid with their tight combination of bass and drums. Pristine is not for the feint of heart. They border on the edge of psychedelic blues rock much the way Zephyr did back in the late sixties and early seventies. Heidi’s vocals are better than Candy Givens but you can still hear a similar edge they both brought to their band. All in all Detoxing is a very good album filled with some excellent tracks as well as a female vocal doing The Allman Brothers Band Whipping Post which drips with desperation, despair, that flat out rocks. Click on the picture to buy the CD:
Brick Fields Shambhala CD is filled with Blues and Soul as well as traces of Gospel and Americana that permeate the deep roots that flow from through the sounds of Shambhala and meshed into what is The Brick Fields Band. Positive messages, heartfelt lyrics, music that is steeped in the traditions of the south. Once again an artist uniqueness is their very appeal. If the band had been singing in the sixties you can image they would have landed on one of the great small soul labels of that era. 77 Records, Silver Fox, Today Records. Betty LaVette, Ann Sexton, Debbie Taylor fans will probably love Brick Fields. In England the Northern Soul scene will probably go crazy over Brick Fields. As will modern day soul fans of early Josh Stone.
Music transcends style when the artist is making something new out of something old. The Brick Fields Band creates a new feel from the old tried and true sound of their roots. Big Maybelle and Betty Swann comes to mind as well when I hear the Brick Fields Band. With great musicians backing her Brick soars along like a bird in the sky free to turn the melody anyway she chooses. No doubt this is a sound from the past that has been made fresh and new by a group of like minded musicians. Just listen to Good People with its Staple Singers feel and its universal positive message of love and peace. If Mavis is not a favorite of Brick it would be a surprise. Dig the groove, hear the roots, no hip, no hop, no rap, no sampling, no just real music by a real artist that delivers on track after track. A powerful CD of excellent music that never leaves one in doubt as to the great power of the Brick Fields band. Arkansas Rain, is one such example of how this band is mixing a bit of Americana into the CD. Showing how deep their artistic river flow. Brick is by far one of the most soulful artist I have heard in many years. Arkansas Rain transcends the genre one would try to put her into. However track eight the title track Shambhala truly shows the deep roots of Brick Fields with its old time country feel. Combined with her soulful vocals the songs has similar feel as the great Jimmy Cliff track Many Rivers to Cross. Excellent music is common, great music is rare. Gems of gleaming light for all of us to play over and over, the songs never getting old even forty fifty years on. This is what Brick Fields Band brings to the music world with there excellent CD Shambhala.
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Crys Matthews-A Lesson Learned + The Izzle Ballads
Down through the ages of music history there have been many unique singers and songwriters. That uniqueness is the appeal of the artist, the difference is the specialness that they offer to the world of music. The fact that they don’t sound like anyone else is perhaps the only reason you listen to them. Well Crys Matthews is one such artist. She is perhaps an enigma in this modern world a bit of Tracy Chapman and bit of Richie Havens, a whole lot of Crys Matthews. You can hear the rural south in her voice when she sings her lyrics about life and living down in NC. Maybe Sam Cooke is playing on the radio in the background while Crys mom or grandmother cooked diner and danced around the kitchen floor. Then Bob Dylan, Shelby Lynne and Tracy Chapman visited quite often, Maybe Dusty Springfield and Ann Peebles and Ann Sexton as well. Soul music with folk overtones. Folk-soul, that is what Crys Matthews plays. Her roots are deep and cross genres like crossing state lines, effortlessly. Crys is one artist that really does not sound like any other artist if you listen really deeply to her music. More diverse than Tracy Chapman but with equal songwriting skills. Crys has a mix of gospel, soul, folk music that brings back the days of simpleness, Leadbelly, Woody Guthrie, CSN & Y, Jessie Colin Young, songwriters of simple songs with great power, here again Crys hold her on with songs like Caged Bird, Have Mercy, Words of Wisdom & 96 Moons, where Crys proves she belongs.
Crys also has a short ep called The Izzle Ballads out that sounds like it was songs she wrote right after she had already finished A Lesson Learned CD. The music follows her acoustic formula with the less is best philosophy. Hold On leads off the track with roots in Folk-soul sound that she is developing without even knowing it. The beauty of Crys is she is not afraid to mix her gospel and soul with her folk and country. This would scare the hell out of many artist but Crys meshes them all into a unique and powerful display of songwriting. Crys uniqueness is endearing and her simple approach is a powerful message without over stating the obvious. You know when there was something powerful in music well Crys Matthews is one of those artist who can touch your heart and reach deeper and touch your soul. Such songs as Wailing Wall has a wonderful Sandy Denny feel it and also have the power of Melanie, Candles in the Rain. This is a wonderful, delightful, CD of music that really is something special. Oh we all know that on the radio today Crys has little chance of being played but that still is no reason not to rush out and buy an excellent CD by and excellent artist.
Crys Matthews-A Lesson Learned and Crys Matthews-The Izzle Ballads
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