Album Reviews

Bedwyr Morgan - EP

bedwyr Morgan

When Bluebird Reviews heard that somebody of the talent of Bedwyr Morgan was finally releasing his first solo material after almost 30 years spent On The Road with the iconic Welsh band MOjO, there was a lot of curiosity and excitement about it.

Morgan is an artist that, throughout the years, has always shown signs of great craftmanship, either from a songwriting point of view and as a singer and a guitarist too. His first self-titled solo effort is a mini EP containing 4 original tracks, 3 of which sang in Welsh language, the same tracks sang also in English version, plus a truly beautiful instrumental for a grand total of 7 songs.

The Welsh artist, despite the short length of the album, shows in full his potential through a blend of soft-rock that carries echoes of traditional Celtic music and the sound of 80's America's West Coast. The opener Ti Yw'r un (You Are The One) is an excellently crafted radio-friendly tune, on which Morgan skillfully builds great choruses to support a melody that could easily come out from the songbook of artists of the level of Chris Rea, just to make an example.

Llwybr O Ddagrau (Trail Of Tears) is powerful, with a thunderous guitar riff  and it is perhaps the best demonstration of Morgan's talent in its entirety, as a songwriter, a singer and a guitarist. While  A Fydd Y Glaw Yn Disgyn Lawr? (Will The Rain Still Fall?) slows down a notch the tempo of the album, the instrumental Machlud Celtaidd (Celtic Sunset) is an authentic masterpiece. The tender touch of Morgan's guitar is as light as a feather and evokes thoughts about the beauty of nature, its tranquillity and the feeling of flying on open spaces. The whole penned in such a wonderful way that maybe just the Mark Knopfler of his golden years might have been able to emulate.

Bedwyr Morgan's EP is a genuine work of an artist very passionate about music and his Welsh origin. There is a certain maturity in his sound and, at the same time a freshness that Morgan seemed to have left behind a little in his later years with the MOjO. If this is Morgan's music appetiser, we cannot wait for the main course to come.



Giovanni "Gio" Pilato



Bedwyr Morgan's EP is out now and available via the artist's Facebook Page

"Buy a record, support the artists, preserve the future of music"

The Bluesbones - Double Live

The Bluesbones


Whenever you get to hear a band like the Belgian collective The Bluesbones, even though you are not a blues or a blues/rock fan, you cannot avoid to fall in love with their music recipe. Following their self-released 2015 studio album Saved By The Blues, the Belgian quintet returns with their second live album, simply called Double Live, recorded in front of an audience in Mechelen, Belgium at the Hyperstudio.

For any artists, performing on a stage is certainly the most congenial element to express their art and The Bluesbones, on their new release, manage successfully to crack a fabulous live set, full of musical fireworks.

What amazes the most, about The Bluesbones and their style, is the capacity of incorporating many different music genres in only one track and still making that track to sound like you are listening to a blues song but with one or many twists. The way they dazzle effortlessly in this live album, adding to their blues roots the sound of the Mississippi Delta (Moonshine), the 50's Rockabilly (Riding Out), Funk (Broken Down Car, No Good For Me) or Jazz-Rock (Devil's Bride) is truly remarkable.

The quality of each individual musician within the quintet is top class. Nico De Cock on vocals is able to sound as velvety (I'm Still Your Man) and thunderous (Wrong) at the same time. Stef Paglia's guitar may sound at times either like a blade, able to cut deeply (Runaway) or to sound soft and gentle like a caress in the darkest night (Voodoo Guitar). The Rhythm Section of The Bluesbones is, as well, as good as a Rhythm Section can possibly be in any band. Geert Boeckx on bass maintains the tempos on any of the songs rolling brilliantly, especially in those having a more funk structure, while Dominique Christens on drums is as polished and precise as humanly possible in any moment of the live set, especially in the song Cruisin', where the drummer showcases a style that resembles fine memories of great artists of the instrument like The Police's Stewart Copeland.

There is, though, something special that completes the sound of this band and add a wonderful, spicy and dissonant 70's rock flavour to The Bluesbones winning formula and that something comes from the splendid job on keyboards made by Edwin Risbourg. His strong and majestic musical incursions on tunes like Riding Out, No Good For Me or the closing Whiskey Drinking Woman work like a dream on the song structures of The Bluesbones and turn up definitely a notch the sound of an already powerful and cohesive band like the Belgian quintet.

Double Live is the sound of a band that keeps improving the quality of their sound with each passing record. It's the album that defines The Bluesbones as one of the finest music realities around.



Giovanni "Gio" Pilato

Double Live is out now and is available on the band's Official Website

"Buy a record, support the artists, preserve the future of music"

Gov't Mule - The Tel-Star Sessions

Tel Star Sessions


When it comes to create new musical emispheres, very few artists in the world are capable to do a better job then Gov't Mule. Back few years ago, while Warren Haynes, guitarist extraordinaire and Mule's frontman was digging into the vast music archive of the band, he stumbled by accident into the first ever demo sessions recorded by himself, Allen Woody on bass and Matt Abts on drums at The Tel-Star Studios back in June 1994 during the band's early days.

Haynes thought that the sessions recorded back then sounded so fresh and contemporary and that it was finally the time to release them to the world. A very smart decision from the Mule's main man.

The 10 tracks included in the Tel-Star Sessions offer so many interesting aspects about the way that the Gov't Mule have evolved sonically, through the years. There are so many different influences in the sound of the band, influences that vary from a 90's rock, almost grung-esque style, noticeable in a song like World Of Difference or the catchy Blind Man In The Dark to more blues-rock territories very close to the heart of the Mule's sound, like in the song Rocking Horse.

The sessions exude enthusiasm in the sound of the band and it's something that clearly emerges in the fantastic interplay between Haynes, Woody and Abts. The fluidity and creativity of their music style is so natural and instinctive that even other artist's songs that they cover on the album, through the Mule's unique delivery, go up to another level of beauty. The Free's classic Mr. Big and the ZZ Top's incandescent Just Got Paid, songs that often appear in many of the Mule's live shows are as perfect as the original, though made even more special by the fabulous interplay between the band members. An interplay so harmonious to be able to reach incredible peaks of great artistry in the middle sections of those two tracks.

Even when the Mule cover slightly less known tracks, like the splendid 1951's Memphis Slim masterpiece Mother Earth or Willie Dixon's The Same Thing, the results are still beyond brilliancy. Hayne's vocals, particularly on Mother Earth, are some of the best that the American artist has ever recorded in his career with the Mule.

The Tel-Star Sessions is an important album, both for old and new fans of the Mule. It's a record that tells the listeners where the sound of the band came from and, most importantly, it shows the way that Gov't Mule have elevated, through their craftmanship, the concept of alt-rock transforming it into art-rock instead. And where there is genuine art in constant movement and evolution, that is the place in which you will find Gov't Mule. 


Giovanni "Gio" Pilato




The Tel-Star Sessions is out now and available via Mascot Label Group

"Buy a record, support the artists, preserve the future of music"

The Paul DesLauriers Band - Relentless


The history of rock and roll has been re-written thousand times, each times in a different way. Some artists succeed in the attempt to disassemble and re-build the genre through their own personal visions, some others fail miserably.

Thankfully, there is also who does not need to re-write a rock and roll history book, like the Canadian power trio The Paul DesLauriers Band, because they know exactly all about the genre by heart very well and understand that the secret in playing real rock and roll has always been and always will be instinct, immediacy and, most of all, bags of talent.

Through their second album called Relentless, the band steps up definitely in their music formula by delivering, through 10 superb tracks, an authentic and complete music vernacular that goes from the genesis of rock and roll (blues) to the evolution of the genre (roots and funk).

Individually, each musician is in a class of their own. Paul DesLauriers is a true virtuoso, when it comes to play guitar and he is also an excellent singer. Greg Morency on bass dazzles the listeners with such flawless fluidity and ability. Sam Harrisson on drums and percussion dictates the changes of tempo on the album with pitch perfect chronometric precision.

By having three musicians like these, recording together the whole album locked in the same room at the same time with a spotless interplay, the end results cannot be less then phenomenal and Relentless is indeed, to say the least, a phenomenal album.

There are different shades of rock for all different palates, on the Canadian band's new record. From the epic sound of tunes like the opener Stewtro Rock (Just Got Back) and Wipes Away Your Sin to the foot-stomping blues/rock of I'm Your Man and We Just Might until stepping into more rootsy territories, like in the song Up In The Air.

Even when The Paul DesLauriers Band delves into the roots of rock and roll, as in that magnificent blues ballad called If I Still Had You, the quality of their craftmanship and the consistency of their delivery is always first class.

The tracks Gonna Make You Move Part 1 and Part 2 might have been, originally, a long suite that the band decided to split in two separate segments.The first part is more rootsy, with little infusions of funk, sprayed cleverly throughout the tune. The second part, which also closes the album, is a perfectly executed instrumental blues/rock tune and frankly, those two tracks couldn't define any better the artistic message of a band with a great knowledge, respect and understanding of rock and roll. 

Relentless is an album of rare beauty, whose sound frames beautifully the past and present of rock and roll at its very best. The Paul Deslauriers might have just pulled, through Relentless, one of the best albums of 2016.



Giovanni "Gio" Pilato



Relentless is out now and it is available via Amazon

"Buy a record, support the artists, preserve the future of music"

Ina Forsman - Ina Forsman

Ina Forsman


It is a very special feeling to hear young artists respecting and loving music genres which are not exactly radio friendly, nowadays and putting, at the same time, so much dedication, hard work, love and passion in their works.

This is exactly the case of Ina Forsman, a very talented young singer/songwriter coming straight from the beautiful city of Helsinki in Finland. After working for few years side by side with her music mentor and one of the most respected harmonicists in the world, Helge Tallqvist, this superb Finnish artist has gradually developed an unconditional love for genres like blues, soul, R&B, jazz and swing, a love so beautifully illustrated in Forsman's self-titled debut album.

Recorded in only one week in Texas, United States with a group of excellent studio musicians and the special support of Tallqvist himself plus the fabulous brass band The Texas Horns, Ina Forsman's record delivers to the listener 11 music pearls, showcasing in full the beauty of her voice at 360 degrees.

If you happen to listen Forsman's voice for the first time, you will be immediately reminded of  top performers like Christina Aguilera or Amy Winehouse but Ina Forsman is much more than that. This phenomenal singer, which has penned 10 of the 11 songs of the album, shows an outstanding maturity in understanding and appreciating music in its entirety and she does so with flawless class and elegance throughout the record.

Ina Forsman's album never falls flat or repetitive in any moment. Instead, it engages and challenges the listener to follow Forsman in every direction of her music path, doesn't matter whether it is a 1920's swing tune like Bubbly Kisses, a song about drunken sex or No Room For Love, a soulful R&B song in which Ina Forsman's intense vocal delivery reaches such an outstanding level of perfection somehow unimaginable, for such a young artist.

The closing track of the album is the only cover of the Finnish artist's self-titled record and it's Nina Simone's classic I Want A Little Sugar In My Bowl. Once again, Ina Forsman delivers an impeccable version of this song with the sole accompaniment of the piano, giving the listeners real shivers in the spine through her incredible vocals.

One of the highest qualities of this record, together with Forsman's great artistry, is the purity and passion that transpires from each individual song. There is true honesty, genuinity and a great will from the Finnish singer/songwriter to show how much she cares about music and how much she gives all of herself in every different expressions of her unique music talent.

A talent that, through the years, will surely take Ina Forsman to be recognised worldwide as one of the most inspired and eclectic artists of this generation.



Giovanni "Gio" Pilato



Ina Forsman's debut album is out now and is available via Ruf Records

"Buy a record, support the artists, preserve the future of music"

Sari Schorr - A Force Of Nature

Sari Schorr


A Force Of Nature is, by far, one of the most long-awaited debut albums worldwide for a music artist. This goes not just for blues or blues/rock lovers but also for those who really understand and appreciate broad talent in its full expression.

When the New Yorker blues/rock singer Sari Schorr bumped into veteran producer Mike Vernon in 2015 (John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers, Ten Years After, Fleetwood Mac amongst the many superstars Vernon has produced throughout his career), she realised immediately that she had found the perfect match in understanding and enhancing her full potential.

The outcome, A Force Of Nature is a record that it's not just a play on words on Schorr's superior talent as a singer/songwriter and as a performer but also the best possible proof that Sari Schorr can be vocally challenged in any music genres and be able to pull it off anytime through her great artistry.

This debut album is a full display of the artistic artillery and the eclectic personality of this wonderful artist. Vernon's expert producing hand wisely allows total freedom and trust not just to the amazing array of tonalities that Sari Schorr is able to reach but also to her songwriting style.

A Force Of Nature is a record that catapults the listener in a musical journey of funk, blues and late 60's/early 70's psychedelic rock. The whole splendidly led by Schorr's powerful voice and supported by a number of highly skilled studio musicians, which includes guest guitarists of the calibre of Walter Trout, Innes Sibun and Oli Brown.

Lyrically, the album showcases at times themes about social responsibility very close to the heart of the American artist, such as physical abuses (Damn The Reason), prostitution (Demolition Man) or drug abuses (Aunt Hazel). In every occasion, even when it comes to sing songs not written by Schorr herself but by other artists, such as Work No More (written by Walter Trout) or in that outstanding version of the Lead Belly's classic Black Betty, Sari Schorr's delivery is impressive and convincing. A natural raconteur true and true.

To pick one or two songs from the album's setlist would be an injustice, because each song tells a unique story on its own, either musically or lyrically. As A Force Of Nature opens with the thunderous 60's bluesy sound of Ain't Got No Money, a lyrically dry "j'accuse" to the cynicism of capitalism in general, by the same account it closes with a simple and delicate statement to the importance of gratitude in life with the song Ordinary Life. The latter features, once again, another demonstration of the fabulous diversity of Schorr's singing style.

Many have labelled Sari Schorr, through the years, as a highly talented blues/rock interpreter. Through this debut album, the American artist has brilliantly proved that she is much more than that. There is a new shining star in the music galaxy. Her name is Sari Schorr.



Giovanni "Gio" Pilato


A Force Of Nature is due to be released worldwide 2nd September 2016 in Europe and 16th September 2016 in the United States via Amazon

"Buy a record, support the artists, preserve the future of music"

Gary Hoey - Dust & Bones

Gary Hoey Dust Bones


The blues/rock world is living a second youth, in 2016. This year, despite the sad loss of many famous worldwide music giants, is offering one of the most prolific moments in the history of the genre, through the release of many wonderful and eclectic records.

One of such records is, without a doubt, Gary Hoey's new album Dust & Bones, the 20th of his extraordinary career and the first to be released via Mascot Label Group.

For the debut with his new label, the American Guitar Virtuoso could have not chosen to record a better album than Dust & Bones. The album is the sum of the class, craftmanship and ability of an artist that, throughout his career, has never stopped to challenge himself, musically speaking.

Gary Hoey has always been and still is one of the most loved and appreciated rock guitarists worldwide. Now, through his previous record Deja Blues and especially with Dust & Bones, the American artist can be deservely labelled as one of the best blues guitarist too.

The new album showcases in full all the different sides of Hoey's artistry and his profound respect for some of the most inspirational guitarists of this century. The Guitar Maestro manages cleverly and brilliantly to incorporate elements of hard rock, blues, 70's rock and hillibilly in a kaleidoscopic music package with flawless results.

To find one highlight above all the tracks of the album is almost an impossible task. The title-track of the record is, perhaps, the most radio-friendly song of the album, craftly built on a solid wall of sound created by Hoey and his band.

When it comes to play blues, Hoey doesn't pull any string and push resolutely on the accelerator, spicing even further tracks like the opening Boxcar Blues, Back Up Against The Wall and Steamroller (the latter openly dedicated to Johnny Winter) with his distinctive rock touch.

The definition of rock, as genre, for Gary Hoey is not just related to one or two decades of music history or to one inspirational artist only. Through his delightful guitar solos, one can hear influences coming from artists like Joe Satriani or Gov't Mule, like in the tune Ghost Of Yesterday or ZZ Top and Cream, like in that splendid rock song that is Born To Love You. The whole array of influences is cemented together by the incredible artistry of Hoey that, on Dust & Bones, reaches the absolute peak of his music career.

Even when the tempo slows down a notch, like in that tender rock ballad that is Coming Home, where the wonderful Lita Ford makes a Special Guest appearance, the American artist showcases his maturity by penning a wonderful tune, enriched by excellent bridges and choruses. This is a song that has all the credentials to become one of the singles extracted from this splendid album.

Where everyone may expect, given Dust & Bone's structure, a powerful and fast-tempoed tune to close the album, Hoey surprises once again everybody by playing the only instrumental of the album, Soul Surfer. The tune is an ethereal journey through dreamy atmospheres that echoes memories of the best periods of artists like Ry Cooder and Carlos Santana but executed with the unique artistry and usual brilliancy of Hoey's guitar.

Dust & Bones is a true electric guitar songbook and the pinnacle of the career of an artist that has perfected, through the years, his artistic repertoire through hard work and an immense talent. It's an album to be played loud wherever you are and to be loved anytime, like it deserves.



Giovanni "Gio" Pilato



Dust & Bones is due to be released worldwide on 29th July 2016 via Mascot Label Group

"Buy a record, support the artists, preserve the future of music"

The Chris Rolling Squad - EP

the chris rolling squad


After a short stint with The Heavy Manic Souls, the French guitarist and singer/songwriter Chris Rolling has created a new project called The Chris Rolling Squad, releasing a self-titled EP that is a true love letter to the 70's rock.

The five tracks included in this mini album are a homage to the sound of bands like Cream, Motorhead and Ramones, just to mention fews. The Chris Rolling Squad, as a power trio, is an authentic steam train throughout the whole record. Their ability and craftmanship shine either when they are wild, fast and furious, like on the Motorheads-esque My Redemption, (in BBR's opinion the true highlight of the EP) or in the closing track Janet Says Go Go Go, a cover of the 90's Swedish band Indian Red.

Even when the tempo goes a bit more bluesy, like on the track Vampire Blues, the band is solid and their execution of the song smooth and precise. Chris Rolling's commanding and powerful guitar sound dictates the tempo with great authority to the whole band, which, together with Rolling on guitar, include a really impressive rhythm section made by Brice Duval on bass and Romain Cauneau on drums.

It's a tasty, energetic and highly entertaining debut for the French trio. If this is the shape of things to come, we may expect some more music brilliancy coming from this band in years to come.


Giovanni "Gio" Pilato


The Chris Rolling Squad EP is available to be purchased on the band's website



"Buy a record, support the artists, preserve the future of music"

Laurence Jones - Take Me High

Take Me High


It would be hugely easy for an artist, especially in the current music business, to stick on his/her tried-and-true formula. This is something that the young gunslinger Laurence Jones wouldn't consider even for a moment.

Take Me High, the British guitarist's new record soon to be released in Uk later this month and in August in the United States, is an album that catapults Laurence Jones right in the olympus of the most versatile, creative and talented music artists worldwide.

This is a studio record that has been entirely recorded live by Jones and his band with outstanding results, without the help of any trickeries at all. Undoubtedly, the expert guidance of Mike Vernon, one of the most renowned producers in the music world has been beneficial on the artistic approach taken by Laurence Jones during the recording of Take Me High.

The outcome captures perfectly the artistic maturity of a musician which, despite the relative young age, is able to spread his wings with equal majesty in whatever Jones put his hands on and we are not just referring to his well-known ability on guitar.

Jones unveils finally, through his new record, all the music genres that he loves the most and really matter to him. His rhytmh section is more powerful than ever, through the addition of Phil Wilson on drums on a line-up that counts already an "Ace Of Bass"  like Roger Inniss, adding to the British artist's sound even more dynamism than in any of Jones' previous albums.

One of the most welcomed surprises on Take Me High is the definite Funk approach present on some of the tracks on the album. The opening one-two, Got No Place To Go and Something's Changed is fresh, vibrant and the additional support of Bob Fridzema as studio musician on keyboards offers the opportunity to Laurence Jones to exalt even further the magnitude of his talent on guitar.

There is also another important element that shines throughout the whole of Take Me High and it's the depth and quality of the guitarist's vocals. A clear example of Jones' talent on many levels and one of the many highlights of the album is Thinking About Tomorrow, a love song that encapsulates perfectly the level of artistic perfection reached by Laurence Jones through this new record.

The young Guitar Virtuoso is virtually unstoppable, on this album. Take Me High, the title-track, is vintage Laurence Jones. His unmistakable Bluesy slap on guitar serves as the perfect intro to an intense and excellently executed tune. To help Jones in this beautiful musical delivery, once again his rhythm section is absolutely spot on and the musical chemistry between Inniss and Jones is first class.

The record closes in an equally high standard as it opens. On The Price I Pay, Jones get the best helping hand he can hope for by having on harmonica a master like Paul Jones as Special Guest. The outcome is an authentic triumph of a musical fusion containing clear funky extractions combined with the sound and the melody of the Mississippi Delta Blues. That's what happen when two Jones work together.

The closing track is the only cover of the album and it is Stevie Wonder's classic Higher Ground, penned once again very skillfully by Jones and his band with the outstanding contribution on vocals by Reuben Richards.

Sometimes album titles may be slightly deceiving, when it comes to describe the music package included in a record. In Laurence Jones' case, Take Me High explains exactly what a music lover can get by purchasing this album, which is not just the best album of his career to date but also one of the highest music expressions of 2016.



Giovanni "Gio" Pilato


Take Me High is due to be released on 22nd July in United Kingdom and in August Worldwide. The album can be purchased via Amazon 

"Buy a record, support the artists, preserve the future of music"

Matty T Wall - Blue Skies

Blue Skies

Where the warmth of a country like Australia meets the passionate sound of rock and the mysticism of the blues. That is the place where you will be able to find Matty T Wall, a young and highly talented guitarist and singer/songwriter from Perth.

Through his debut album, Blue Skies, Wall beautifully embraces the traditions of the Delta Blues and the 70's psychedelic sound, in a unique music combo that makes possible not just to magnify Wall's guitar artistry but also his deeply soulful singing style. The ten tracks included in Blue Skies are an intense journey into several decades of music history, played in an unconventional and highly entertaining way.

There is everything that a true music fan could possibly ask, in this record. The album's title-track is an elegant rock ballad with hints of roots, with some truly excellent songwriting from the Australian young prodigy. Broken Heart Tattoo is a tune that fuses together elements of jazz, rock and blues, which provide an excellent sound carpet to Wall's storytelling Parlato style on this track. Scorcher is a majestic scat-blues instrumental number, in which the ability of Wall and his band match stylistically the magnitude of 70's bands like The Allman Brothers Band or The Cream.

One of the most interesting aspects of Matty T Wall's music style consists in the way his songs take off into unexpected directions, during their executions. An example for all is the overwhelming cover version of Hendrix's Voodoo Chile, in which Wall and his band provide a slower and alternative but nevertheless highly hypnotic version of one of rock's most favourite anthems of all time.

Matty Wall is, undoubtedly, one of the most inspired musicians of this generation. Smile, which is the other instrumental included in Blue Skies, showcases in full Wall's ability and versatility as a guitar player. The dreaming sound coming by the overlapping of acoustic and electric guitars is a work of art and it is one of those tunes to be chosen as the perfect soundtrack for an evening stroll on a beach, admiring the sunset, anywhere in the world.

One of the secrets of the success of Wall's special music alchemy on his debut album goes also to the craftmanship of his wonderful band. Jasper Miller on drums and Stephen Walker are an irresistible Rhythm Section, whose abilities shine throughout the whole album. A deserved mention on Blue Skies goes also to Gordon Cant on organ, whose improvisations on Voodoo Chile are absolutely tremendous.

Knowing the love and appreciation of Matty T Wall for blues, it's no big surprise that he decided to choose a Robert Johnson's tune, Hellhound On My Trail, as the closing track of his album. Yet again, Wall nails his version of this song to perfection. The number starts with the sound of pouring rain coming down, then slowly an acoustic guitar opens up the tune to a folk-esque tempo, until the beating and daunting drums of Jasper Miller comes in, adding an almost dark and mysterious aura to another very inspired cover version.

Matty T Wall has not pulled any strings at all in his debut album. Blue Skies is an instinctive record made of great songs with inspired songwriting, enormous respect for the masters of blues, excellent vocals, showing Wall's mesmerising talent as a guitar player. You better watch out for this artist. You will be hearing extraordinary music from him for a very long, long time.


Giovanni "Gio" Pilato



Blue Skies is out now and available via Amazon



"Buy a record, support the artists, preserve the future of music"

Walter Trout - ALive In Amsterdam

Alive In Amsterdam

It gets always very difficult to review a live album, doesn't matter who the artist in question or the band may be. The reason is because, often, such type of releases are targeted to boost the revenue of artists and record labels, without having those elements that a live recording should have, like energy, passion and commitment to music.

Luckily, there are artists like Walter Trout that distance themselves from this kind of concept because they truly believe in the message of music and what music gives to them and to the fans.

ALive In Amsterdam is not just the celebration of a Tour that for Trout meant the return to make and play music but also his return to form. The health issues that troubled the American guitarist for quite some time have long gone and this live album proves indeed that Trout is, again, on full force.

There were no better places for Walter Trout and his band than Amsterdam in Netherland and the Le Carre' Theatre to record this live album, due to the long-lasting love relationship that the Dutch fans have with Trout and his music.

The two-hours plus new live recording from Walter Trout is like a family album, where one can see how people's lives move on and develop through music. Age has never been an issue neither for the American guitarist and singer/songwriter nor for his band, because they sound as strong as ever. Sammy Avila on keys, Michael Leasure on drums and Johnny Griparic on bass, added to Trout's incredible talent, constitute one of the most solid music machines worldwide. In addition, the Evergreen Maverick from Huntingdon Beach can even afford to have two highly skilled extra guitarists on this Tour, such as his oldest son Jon and the Dutch singer and guitarist Andrew Elt, to make this live show sound even more powerful.

There is obviously a lot of material coming from Trout's most recent album, Battle Scars, included in ALive In Amsterdam. Among those tracks, two in particular, which come half a way of the show, Haunted By The Night and Fly Away, are real killers. Trout and his boys have never sounded better than this before on stage. The sound is explosive, at times pleasantly erratic, thanks to the sonic dissonance coming from that master of keyboards that is Sammy Avila. The Rhythm Section of Griparic and Leasure is as strong and pulsating as it can possibly be.

Walter Trout's enormous talent on guitar has always been undisputed but his voice is reaching now new highs too. It's deep, almost raucous and booming at times and gentle and emotional  other times. Like in the crowd-pleasers Marie's Mood and the closing The Love That We Once Knew, where Trout shows his gentle side, when it comes to love for his wife Marie and for life in general.

ALive In Amsterdam is not just a record for fans of Trout's music. It's a musical tale of a man and an artist that has been given a second chance in life and doesn't want to miss a moment to create and play music for himself and for people. The very same people that helped him and stood by his side when it mattered and showed their love and affection in many ways.  ALive In Amsterdam is the best payback in music that Trout could possibly give to those fans and friends. Welcome back, Walter Trout, mission accomplished. Once again.  


Giovanni "Gio" Pilato 

ALive In Amsterdam is out now and is available via Mascot Label Group

"Buy a record, support the artists, preserve the future of music"


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Out On The Tiles

Mavis Staples at Mountain Park, Holyoke, MA, June 8, 2012

Mavis Staples at Mountain Park, Holyoke, MA 2012. thumb mavisstaplesweb

Review by Bluebird

~with Special Thanks to Valerie Jensen Lefevre.

Respectfully submitted to The Boston Blues Society.

Keep the Blues Alive!

Photos provided by publicists.

Mountain Park is an open air venue with rolling hills and a covered stage, that used to be an amusement park. It kicked off the summer season of shows this year with Mavis Staples and Bonnie Raitt. On a beautifully cool pre-summer night, the mountain was ablaze with these soul sisters just doing what they've always done - courageously belting out what is on their minds - and lucky for us, it is earth moving timeless music.

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Dont let the name fool you! Maine Music News provides live concert reviews and photography for shows throughout all of New England. Our photographers cover shows in Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts and anywhere else we can! Our writers provide detailed album reviews and expertly written interviews as well. We may be called Maine Music News, but we dont let the Maine border stop us!