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L.A. Beat

CD Reviews

Jungal bring the rock from Down Under

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Good music comes from the land down under.Click here to hear Jungal
They’re best known for bands like AC DC, INXS and Airbourne, but as of recently are becoming known for blues rockers like the Mason Rack band.

 The Melbourne trio Jungal  have just released their fifth CD “ Leave My Head.” They include  Jungalwalla  sisters Leisha on vocals, guitar, slide guitar and Jessie  on drums, percussion and vocals plus  bassist Victoria Beard are more of a straight ahead rock band, which draw on roots and blues but also  add a little bit of ’70s and  ’80s Pretenders style pop especially on “ Run To The Sun” but also recall female rockers like Kathleen Edwards and Natalie Imbruglia.

 The first track “Wolf” sums up what this CD is about — big riffs, bluesy solos o and  haunting vocal harmonies.
 Jungal sings some nice harmonies but also who how well they rock on “Run To The Sun” which combines some pretty guitar playing, poppy harmonies and a little bit of rock.

  The title track “Leave My Head” is tortured blues with some deadly slide guitar played on a lap steel guitar.
 For a complete counterpoint to that, songs like  “Ghost” and “Dancer,” have more of an ’80s new wave sound with ambient guitars and haunting vocals.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
CD: Leave My Head
Band: Jungal
Genre: rock

Anthony Gomes blends blues and gospel

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If you like your blues with a touch of gospel, Anthony Gomes is a perfect fit.
 His CD “Before The Beginning ” is a mix of straight ahead gospel numbers and cheerful, breezy, ’60s and ’70s pop.
“Beautiful Goodbye” is a track which showcases his gospel influence. He has soulful vocals and has a chorus of voices behind him as as  some tender piano plays in the background.

Click here to hear Anthony Gomes
“Golden Wings” has more of the overtly gospel lyrics as Gomes sings of seeing angels. “Before the beginning is straight ahead gospel a cappella number.
“Sinner’s Song” is a great gospel song, featuring choral vocal harmonies, some beautiful piano and a solid groove.
 A capella numbers are a highlight.  “Old Ten Wheeler is one which begins a cappella, then breaks into a smooth jazzy piano break.

“Lady Soul” combines gospel with gutsy blues. “The Blues is Good” is also big, powerful gutsy blues,which also has those addictive choral vocals behind it.

On the other hand “Let’s Fall in Love” is pure ’60s/ ’70 pop along the lines of weirder Beatles and  the Electric Light Orchestra with more of the great piano and extra vocals from Minnie Murphy.
 “Love is Everything,” is another catchy pop number which comes right out of the ’60s and ’70s.
 It is so cheerful, it will just make you grin with it’s jazz tinged groove.

 The piano powering this song is reminiscent of Steely Dan.
“Rescue Me has more catchy ’70s style piano and a pretty acoustic guitar intro.
 The highlights throughout the CD are the piano and the vocal harmonies. So if you like your blues mixed with a touch of gospel and a smattering of jazz, Anthony Gomes is right up your alley.

— By Richard Amery ,L.A. Beat Editor
 CD: Before the Beginning
Artist: Anthony  Gomes
Genre: blues/ gospel/ pop

Cecile Doo-Kingue proves the blues is a universal language

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The blues is a universal language. That’s what Montreal musician Cecile Doo Kingue proves on her CD “Gris”  on which she gets a little funky and a lot bilingual.
 She plays and sings with a lot of soul and explores several influences.
 She grabs the listener from the first track “Aunt Jemima,” on which she drops a lot of F bombs, but she does so as seaClick here to hear Cecile Doo-Kinguemlessly and beautifully as she interchanges the French and English lyrics. Though most of the CD is sung in French. It’s very cool as French language blues isn’t something you hear every day. “2 Minutes” is a sultry, toe tapping number which has French verses and an English chorus.
She is as talented guitar player as she is a singer.
 She has a great feel on her guitar, with not a note being played out of place anywhere on the CD.
“Entrer” is a slower, more spooky song. “Harmonie Du Soir,” is one of several sultry tracks where she flirts with smooth jazz music.
 The first track is an interesting mix of fast paced Earth Wind and Fire soul and R and B if it were played on the banjo as she flirts with Cajun jazz  music. “Rien a Voir”  and “La Bouteille” explore the slower side of soul music.
“Mater Ma Tique,” is  a mid tempo funky number.
While most of the CD is in French, you don’t even notice it because the music is firmly rooted in blues and R and B music,
  The title track Grishas an unstoppable, straight ahead blues rock groove. She has a smooth, beautiful, soulful voice.
“Kwedi” explores more exotic territory musically, though mixing it with a lot of soul on the vocals. Another more exotic song, “Dor” is a tenderly picked acoustic number which references flamenco music. Another nice acoustic number is “Invitation Au Voyage.”
She ends the note on a toe tapping, up beat shuffle note on “Bien Comme Ca”
— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
CD: Gris
Artist: Cecile Doo Kingue
Genre: blues/ R and B

Al Lerman shines solo on acoustic guitar and harp

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Al Lerman is best known at the frontman for Toronto blues icons Fathead but comes into his own with just an acoustic guitar and his beloved harp.
He had just released a CD Crowe River Blues when he was asked to record this live CD at the Acoustic Grill in Picton, so he brushed up on old Fathead tunes, wrote a few new songs and revisited blClick Here to hear Al Lermanues classics.

 The live at the Acoustic Grill CD series is designed to replicate the intimate feel of a ’60s coffee house, and this one does the job well. The audience is listening intently, applauding politely at the end of each song.

 He begins the CD with an uptempo number “Close To You,” which shows just how good he is on acoustic guitar. It also shows his prowess on the harp. He shows his harp prowess again on “I Love You Baby,” which is just him on harp and doing various vocalizations as well as stomping out a rhythm.
“Miss You Like the Devil” is a highlight about Slim Harpo.
“It Hurts Me Too” is sweet and tender.

 His raspy voice belies a heart-wrenching version of “Cocaine.”
“Slippery Slope” is another highlight which sounds like it comes straight out of the Mississippi Delta.
 And rock and roll classic “Good Morning little Schoolgirl,” sounds fantastic as an acoustic song.
“Nobody Loves You When You’re Down And Out,” works beautifully as a solo acoustic  number with a mournful harp solo.
“Move On Up” is one  of many highlights.
He ends the CD with words to live by “Take  Some Time For Yourself,” on which he has a great groove and a touch of slide guitar.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Cd: Live at the Acoustic Grill
Artist: Al Lerman
Genre: Blues
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