Monday, 29 September 2014

Erja Lyytinen: The Sky is Crying

The Sky is Crying
Erja Lyytinen
Erja's new album is (in her own words) ''a raw and down to earth blues album.'' It also a tribute album, designed to celebrate the world and sounds of the Mississippi blues guitar. Consequently, all songs bar two - Erja´s Contribution To Jazz and King of the Slide Guitar - are covers.

The presence of Blind Willie McTell, Robert Johnson, Fred McDowell and Son House can all be freely identified on The Sky is Crying but the biggest influence is without doubt Elmore James - the King of the Slide Guitar. Erja, a.k.a Finland's Queen of the Slide Guitar, last appeared here at Marsh Towers back in January 2013. On this new album she takes nine of Elmore's songs and stamps her own unique style all over them, throwing in two of her own compositions for good measure.

Track List

1. Person To Person
2. Baby Please Set A Date
3. It Hurts Me Too
4. Erja´s Contribution To Jazz
5. The Sky Is Crying
6. Got To Move
7. The King Of The Slide Guitar
8. Sho´ Nuff I Do
9. Something Inside Me
10. Hand In Hand
11. Dust My Broom (live)

The songs certainly get the performance they deserve, with the band utilising a large range of instruments - including a welcome horn section - to fill out the sound.

Erja Lyytinen: Vocals, slideguitar, guitar
Davide Floreno: Guitar, backing vocals
Roger Inniss: Bass
Miri Miettinen: Drums
Harri Taittonen: Piano, hammond, accordion
Abdissa Assefa: Percussion
Jukka Eskola: Trumpet
Petri Puolitaival: Tenor sax, baritone sax

Erja's vocal delivery is more than up to the task of keeping these old classics alive but the absolute star of the show is definitely her slide guitar, which has to be heard to be believed.
Among the album's many highlights, it the live version of Dust My Broom (recorded in September, 2013) that stands out more than any other. Running to just over nine and half minutes, it allows plenty of scope for exemplary solos and no opportunity is left unused.
''Blues will cure your soul'' sings Erja on The King Of The Slide Guitar. Whether that is literally true or not, it's got to be worth a try - so just slip The Sky is Crying into your player, sit back, relax, and take the cure.
For the latest news and tour dates, head over to Erja's official website.

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