Americana Kitchen (label)
01 December 2018 (released)
01 December 2018
This does not fit into the lazy concepts of Americana held by many – per the band themselves “Americana Music simply means 'American Roots Music'. This project is a celebration of American Heritage or Roots Music that has been so influential to music all over the world” and the content really does cover the widest range of American originated forms from Blues through Jazz, Gospel, Zydeco, Soul etc.
So, rather than try and pick out the different styles and tracks it is probably better to concentrate on the quality and that is of the top order.
The playing is superb and the different combinations of players and forms makes for a remarkable listening experience. Many years back the bigger labels released so-called ‘sampler’ albums where all the artists on a label would have a single track featured – it made for some fascinating musical journeys: this album has the same sort of feel as the tracks move from big ballsy soul to jazz and Blues seemingly without focus. But the focus is there, as each segue takes you to the next logical place you are captured by the song as it plays – think of it as a music only radio station.
Favourite tracks come along one after another: the New Orleans tinged Jazz/rock of Hard Love’ with stunning violin from Kenny Sears alongside the Hammond of Chris Nole really gives the song depth, or maybe the straight Jazz of ‘You Better Think Twice’ with brilliant sax from Jack Stafford and vocals by Francesca Capasso bringing the ghost of Betty Wright. ‘Just Fine For Now’ has a real Cajun feel to it or ‘Living It Out Loud’ in a Bluegrass style just loaded with banjo, fiddle and mandolin or, separately, in a rock & roll version.
The whole album brought a real smile to my ears, excellent playing and no little fun on an album created from ‘bits’ sent in by the different musicians – not even necessarily playing in the same state. The album somehow has a real analog sound although it was created using the latest technology.
Very well worth searching out – this is hours of good listening.