Artist: Blues Arcadia
Title: Blues Arcadia EP
Web: www.bluesarcadia.com Location: Brisbane, Qld. Australia
Don’t mistake this album for a sleeper because with successive listens, each track tends to deposit itself into your brain-bank of hum-able songs. Alan’s voice is not sweet or demure, it has a raw frankness and passion that adds a nostalgic footprint to each track as he portrays his poignant stories of heartbreak and happiness.
With an old-fashioned yet contemporary blues-rock approach, this Brisbane band has simultaneously captured influences from yesteryear and present-day in these genuinely creative compositions. Well worth a listen!
Track 1 – Corner Girls Currently making lots of noise on the Blues Music Awards, including a nomination for Song of the Year, Alan’s raw vocals contrast subtly with sweet guitar and stride piano breaks.
Track 2 – Take The Money Husky vocals blend well on this bluesy shuffle sporting catchy hooks, powerful lyrics and unrelenting drums that keeps everything cooking while building to a very satisfying conclusion.
Track 3 – Miss Lonely This up tempo ‘boy wants girl’ groove gets your foot tapping and head nodding. Although employing standard blues chords, there’s nothing standard about this groover. Includes obligatory guitar solo, played with great gusto.
Track 4 – Here Comes The Rain Plaintive blues ballad that begins with a humble cry, then proceeds to build until the track breaks into a tasty guitar solo. The intensity is maintained throughout, concluding with an unexpected contrast.
Track 5 – Operator Please This standard 4 x 4 blues refrain has arresting lyrics, great use of ‘space’ alongside guitar stabs and progressions that keep things interesting.
Track 6 – Time and Again Not quite a ballad, the song begins with sweet acoustic piano accompanying Alan’s distinctive vocals pouring out his desolate feelings. Great use of light and shade throughout – another well-crafted song.
Track 7 – Rockin’ Chair Up tempo blues belter with a foot stomping melody and teeth sharpening lyrics, urges us not to take things lying down. Along with the effective inclusion of horns, the blistering piano/guitar call and response keeps the whole thing rocking along!
Well done, Blues Arcadia… you have my vote!
Alan Boyle – vocals
Chris Harvey – guitar
Jeremy Klysz – bass
Parmis Rose – keys
Steve Robin – drums
Shaun Ballagh – tenor saxophone
Brad Esbensen – trumpet
Joseph Roberts – baritone saxophone
Horn arrangements –
Shaun Ballagh, Chris Harvey, Parmis Rose
Recorded live to tape at The Barn Studios, Plainlands, Queensland, Australia
July 2016. Release date 14 November 2016.
Engineered, mixed and mastered by Mike “Beachy” Wild, assisted by Joe See.