Tag Archives: Independent Music

CD Review – Liza Ohlback – June 2012

CD-Cover-Trouble2010Title:        Trouble Going Down
Label:       Independent
Year:         2009
Tracks:     10

Website:   http://www.lizaohlback.com

Location:
Sydney, Australia

OK, so I’m a bit late reviewing this CD, but having reviewed Liza’s unforgettable   live performance at Lizottes in November 2011, I promptly forgot to review the album!

I must say that of all the soulful blues singers I’ve come across, Liza has to be up there in the top ten, and I don’t mean just in Australia… I mean in the world!

Not only can she sing rings around most others, but she writes great songs.  Along with co-writer (bassist & guitarist) Zoltan Budai, they make for a formidable team having penned seven of the ten tracks which range from slow blues burners to mid-tempo movers and uptempo grooves.

Liza covers Things I’ve Been Through written by George Kerr & Gerald Harris (which was also done by Al Green’s backing singer the late Linda Jones), and she includes three fine compositions of her own  Heading For Home, Best You Move On and the final track Leave Before the Dam Breaks, completing the album.

My favourite tracks are:  Didn’t See It Coming featuring Eric Rasmussen on guitar; Somethings Gonna Give featuring Jack Evans on guitar; and Things I’ve Been Through featuring fabulous BV’s by Dee Lavell, Dan Markovina & Evelyn Duprai.

Although Liza is not hugely well-known on the Sydney blues circuit, don’t let that stop you from immersing yourself in this well-crafted, well-presented album.  She covers all types of blues including jazz, gospel, soul and swamp.
Gifted with a voice that can growl, howl or sooth your furrowed brow, Liza is one hell of a singer.
Oh, and the rest of the band aren’t too shabby either!!

IMG_9451-1

Liza Ohlback @ Lizottes Dee Why

Album Personnell:
Guitars – Eric Rasmussen,
Zoltan Budai, Jack Evans;
Drums/percussion – Greg Ohlback,
Bass – Zoltan Budai;
Double Bass – Peter Maloney;
Sax – David Weir;
Piano/Organ – Peter Rundle,
Mike Fronzek, Rick Mellick;
BVs :  Dan Markovina, Dee Lavell, Evelyn Duprai, Chiara Brown,
Lee Noonan.
Produced By:  Greg & Liza Ohlback

CD Review – Dee Lavell – June 2012

DeeLavell-CD coverTitle:        Mama Told Me
Label:       Independent
Year:         2012
Tracks:     11
Website:
http://www.deelavell.com
Location:  Brunswick Heads NSW

Having known Dee for many years, when her CD arrived I put it aside to listen later so I could give it my full attention rather than a cursory listen.
I’m so glad I did because I could not STOP listening!

The soulful opening track oozed out of the speakers with Dee’s captivating rich contralto voice seeping into my soul where it stayed put!  Supported by some fine backing vocals and superlative musicianship, this album is one for blues and soul lovers, alike.

But make no mistake, this is not an album full of sad blues.  It also boasts some big bad blues belters like “Do Your Thang”  and “Friday Night” into which Dee pours her considerable experience with gusto!
Along with guitarist and writing partner, Geoff Wright, I’d say Dee Lavell has definitely listened to what “Mama Told Me”!

Album Personnell:
Guitars – Geoff Wright,
Drums – Grant Gerathy & Greg Ohlback,DeeLavell-whitebodice
Bass – Thierry Fossemalle, Saxes – Martha Baartz, Dave Sanford, David Ades & Don Raffaele, Percussion – James Patugalan, Flute – Martha Baartz,
Piano, Keys & Hammond – Alan Park, Harmonica – Guy Kachel,
BVs – Belle Hendrik, Lydia Storey, Mohini Cox, Liza Ohlback & Greg Ohlback.
Produced by:  Geoff Wright & Dee Lavell

CD Review – GAPProject – May 2008

Gapproject-AMOCTitle:         A Moment of Clarity
Label:       Independent
Year:         2008
Tracks:     8
Website:
www.thegappproject.com

Location:    Sydney, Australia

In 1995 the GAPProject delivered their first critically acclaimed CD and every release since has continued to deliver high quality funky grooves comparable with any world-class jazz/fusion group.  Choose any of their albums and I guarantee, if you love jazz/fusion, you will not be disappointed.

Their seventh album, A Moment of Clarity features more tasty morsels from the masters of jazz/groove.

Sporting just 8 tracks, many extend way past the obligatory 4 minute mark, taking you on exquisite journeys via the groove laden hooks and riffs that abound throughout every performance.

Keyboardist/composer and head protagonist, Nick Fowler leads a band of exceptional musicians – Ivan Pineda bass, Deva Permana drums and Louis Klaassen tenor sax, with additions including Gordon Sullivan guitar, Kathy Morrison & Robert Campbell trumpet, Paul Weber trombone and Max Dalton alto sax.  With the horn section arranged and led by Klaassen, you know this will be a classy creation!

GIG Review – Joe Robinson – Jan 2011

Joe@Lizottes
Joe Robinson @ Lizottes

ARTIST:
Joe Robinson with Bernard Harris & Marcus Hill

DATE:   Thurs 20 January 2011
VENUE:
Lizottes,  Pittwater Rd, Dee Why, NSW

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Joe’s Website: http://joerobinson.com/
Lizotte’s Website:  http://www.sydney.lizottes.com.au/live/index.asp

On a warm summer’s night, the cool air of Lizottes was refreshing as our table for 6 enjoyed the outstanding cuisine which we’ve come to expect from Lizottes restaurants.

As we savored the last morsels of our main courses, we all agreed that the food was so delicious we had to try the desert.  We were not disappointed!  Table service was friendly, attentive and courteous without being pushy.

When Australian guitarist Joe Robinson along with his Nashville rhythm section Bernard Harris (bass)  and Marcus Hill (drums) took to the stage we anticipated a good show but we weren’t prepared for such a marvelous display of musicality, craftsmanship and sheer talent from the 3 young musicians.

We were also looking forward hearing Joe sing for the first time and to our delight his gentle yet strong voice did not disappoint.  The band members entertained us with different styles of groove and blues infused songs, written mainly by Joe, who also performed a number of solo pieces.  Throughout the show many favourable comments were overheard from nearby tables.

Joe allowed both Bernard & Marcus to shine during their respective solos, and we were astounded by Bernard’s incredible bass playing (including Piccolo bass), at times causing his instrument to sound like an organ.  Not only was he an exceptional player, but his soulful, baritone voice was a knockout!

Bernard Harris’ playing was a great match for Robinson’s mind-blowing guitar-work and their impressive call and response challenges wowed us all, causing many outbursts of applause.  All the while Marcus, whose gaze barely strayed from Joe, kept the trio glued together with his deft yet subtle drumming, occasionally leaving the kit to perform interesting percussion pieces on a Cajon box drum.

The enthralled audience loved every moment, and continued applauding and whistling long after the 2nd set had ended, until the boys returned to perform an amazing FIVE song encore!  What an absolute treat!

After a standing ovation at the end of the encore, it was obvious that the satisfied audience left with full appreciation of  the night’s outstanding entertainment.

I definitely won’t miss the chance to see the exceptionally talented Joe Robinson again.

JoeRobinson-Lizottes2

CD Review – Darryl Beaton Band – August 2010

DarrylBeatonCoverTitle:          “From The Ground Up”
Label:     Independent
Year:       2008
Tracks:   12
Website:  www.darrylbeaton.com
www.myspace.com/darrylbeaton

On first listen one maybe a little bemused by some of the tracks, although on subsequent listening the album takes on a deeper perspective.
“From the Ground Up” brings Darryl Beaton’s ideas to life, delving into all sorts of magical, mystical moments that meld together to present a ménage of his musical talents.
The Darryl Beaton Band has a sound like no other, boasting a personnel list that reads like a who’s who of Sydney’s finest and showing Darryl’s extreme individualism to its best advantage.  His lyrics provoke food for thought, particularly on “My God is Better Than Yours”, and his voice is has a distinctly unique quality.
Be prepared for soul, funk, disco, reggae and more, with hook-laden, catchy melodies abounding throughout.
Do not dismiss this album, rather, take the time to experience the message that is “From The Ground Up”.DarrylBeaton-sings