Last night we attended the legendary 100 Club in the West End for the London album launch show of “Stolen Hearts” by ERJA LYYTINEN.
The Finnish musician and singer-songwriter is the queen of the slide guitar. In 2014 we applauded her album “The Sky Is Crying ” which we described as “a re-telling of classic electric-blues…”
And “Stolen Hearts” is equally awe-inspiring and magnificent — with lots of unmodulated mechanism and plenty of funky grooviness. [Album Review Here]
During recording the award-winning artist worked with famed engineer and producer Chris Kimsey. Chris is known for his contributions to the classic Rolling Stones albums.
At the 100 Club she played her melody-rich blues songs — filled with rocky textures — and charmed the audience with those trademark brawny yowls of guitar.
The high-notes seemed to whistle directly from the icy Baltic drumlins to go straight into our hearts.
And her bite-sized singing voice became suddenly vital and hot when least expected.
“I have the best guys in Helsinki with me...” she told the crowd. Then the band began their bursting rhythms, butter-fat organ, sleek cymbal-play, sharp bass-work and, of course, those brilliant bursts of high-flying guitar.
“Slowly Burning” she yelled “Is not about smoke or fire…. Oh no it’s not…” In fact this downbeat blues number is about a relationship that starts to fade. Her despondent vocals, though heavy-hearted, were not inconsolable. As if her acquaintance with disappointment was never more than casual. And her guitar-work was unforgiving… perhaps because bitter hopes had been dashed once more.
Standout number was, for us “Black Ocean” with that increasingly striking and evocative beat. Where volume and song-melody are separated into distinct sections.
The number started with a discharging riff and the steady chuff-chuff of rhythm, while organ was smeared around clean edges. Then the catharsis began.
With a clear-cut voice that was rich with vowel-sound and those piercing guitar silver-tips that stretched more and more across the room, this was a wholly intoxicating spectacle… Full of drama and passion.
Words: @neilmach 2017 ©
Main Image : Photo Credit Chris Patmore