Rich’s Rapidfire Recommendations – bite-sized metal morsels to let you know about albums that have grabbed Rich Davenport by the ears, that we hope you’ll enjoy too! ROCK ON!
Artist: Ian Siegal
Album: One Night in Amsterdam – live album
Label: Nugene Records
Release date: March 9th, 2015
Ian Siegal – One Night in Amsterdam – If you’re looking to reconnect with the roots of Rock, the Blues is one of the essential elements of its DNA. The contemporary Blues scene boasts a wealth of riches on the harder side, with cranked up guitars resounding in the hands of skilled contemporary players who meet the high watermark set during the 60s Blues boom. On this live set, Ian Siegal strips things back another layer, down to the absolute bare bones, bringing to mind the Blues recordings of the 40s and 50s, where the pure tones of the vocals, instruments and amplifiers ring out with no added studio embellishments, standing or falling on the skills and musical personalities of the band, and the quality of their material. Siegal’s vocals and lyrics possess both of those traits in abundance, and on first listen to this album, it’s clear why his passionate approach to the Blues has earned him no small number of awards and accolades from various magazines and Blues institutions in recent years. Opening number “I Am The Train” sets the tone, brimming with the kind of energy that characterised the classic early Sun Records singles from the likes of Elvis Presley and Carl Perkins.
In the hands of a less imaginative performer, familiar Blues themes, both lyrical and musical, can sound overdone, but Siegal and the three killer musicians in his band breathe new life into the genre’s traditional chord patterns and subject matter. Mr S has a reputation to be reckoned with as a live performer, and this album more than backs that up, the tracklisting benefitting from being a straight ahead live set list, containing the peaks and lulls in pace you’d associate with a skilled band delivering the goods on stage. It’s hard to pick out a highlight among the individual songs, because the overall running order works so well as a whole, and you may be surprised how much variety Siegal and the band can pack in, blending their Blues with touches of Funk (“Brandy Balloon”), Americana (“Temporary”), and a Tex Mex vibe worthy of Los Lobos on “Gallo Del Ciello”. Guitarist Dusty Ciggar, at just 23 years old, is a rare talent, and a worthy musical foil for Siegal, both parties colouring the songs with versatility and passion. “One Night in Amsterdam” makes either a perfect introduction to, or encapsulation of, Ian Siegal’s prowess as a songwriter and live performer, depending on whether you’ve had the pleasure of his musical company before, and if you only buy one Blues album all year, you’ll struggle to find one with as much to offer.
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