Layla Zoe – Nowhere Left To Go (Layla Zoe Music)

Layla Zoe certainly didn’t make it easy for herself. 2018’s superb double-disc ‘Gemini’ seemed to say everything that could be said and in the best way possible. It was electric, it was Blues, Funk, Gospel and Rock. It was the sum of all the releases before it. The subsequent ‘Retrospective Tour’ and disc suggested a watershed moment had been reached. Did it also leave the self-proclaimed firegirl literally with ‘Nowhere Left To Go’? – is this perhaps the aptest album title ever penned? Well, no, as it thankfully turns out. Whilst NLTG doesn’t re-invent the wheel as far as Layla’s music is concerned it is, thanks to plenty of new faces behind the songs, still a fresh as well as a strong statement from the heart. It also still showcases the lady’s amazing voice with that trademark emotional intensity that is the secret of Layla Zoe’s success.

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Live music on Court 1 with Room Service

John Harrison not only got street music in Bonn going again last week-end, he also got to enjoy live music in the City from others. Here is his report on the return of outdoor music and a visit to Folk Club venue Dotty’s where a glimmer of hope for future Folk meetings was suggested by a live appearance on the tennis court by local legends Room-Service.

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Smith, Lyle & Moore – Fate (Feat. Dhani Harrison)

It’s been a while since my interview with Gary Moore’s son Jack.  In it Jack Moore admitted that being the son of guitar virtuoso Gary was a hard act to follow.  Jack has indeed taken a while to find his own musical direction, The track ‘Fate sees him team up with LA musicians Andrew Smith and Tyler Lyle.  Taken from the trios forthcoming debut EP ‘Smith, Lyle & Moore’ which is due for release in September, it shows where Jack Moore is now, and also shows that it’s not a bad place to be at all – just don’t look to it as a gauge of how Jack’s guitar licks stand up against dads, because there aren’t any.

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Come On In – Thorbjørn Risager & The Black Tornado (RUF 1271)

Speaking to trumpet player and Manager Peter W. Kehl last February, the good news after the band’s super show at Bonn Harmonie was that a new Thorbjørn Risager & The Black Tornado disc was on its way.  The bad news, that it wasn’t going to hit the shops/internet until much, much later in the year.  Recorded at Viktoria studios Copenhagen between January and October, ‘Come On In’ has indeed been a long time coming – but well worth the wait.

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Matthew Robb – Dead Men Have No Dreams

Sometime in the ’70’s I found myself at a local Folk Club in Portsmouth sitting next to a man in dusty clothes with a battered suitcase and even more battered hat who looked like he’d come in out of the rain.  I didn’t think he would be sitting in the lounge bar long once the concert had started but I was wrong.  He stayed for all the floor-spots and the guest stars appearance too.  He only stood up when the star guest was announced – at which point he opened that battered case, took out an even more battered guitar, and proceeded to blow us all away with his songs and guitar playing.

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A Tribute To Chuck Berry – Mike Zito (RUF 1269)

Now, I’m not at all sure why anyone would try and sell new versions of some of the best Rock and Roll songs ever put down on plastic.  But if anyone is going to be that crazy, then it might as well be someone that is doing it for the fun rather than the money.  In which case, Mr Mike Zito gets away with the ‘blasphemy’ of re-playing already perfect Rock n Roll songs with perfection on his new release A Tribute To Chuck Berry

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RosaWay – Stranger (Infinity Gritty/Ropeadope Records)

Stéphane Avellaneda will be familiar to many readers.  I remember first seeing him as the new drummer behind Ana Popovic some years ago now.  My thoughts then were that he was a rock drummer and that he was LOUD too!.  After a couple of shows though, it became apparent that Stéphane could also play subtle accompaniments too, and was a man always ready to experiment a little with the sound.  Of course, within the confines of the Ana Popovic Band, it was the lady in charge who dictated the shots.  Fair enough, it’s her band and her songs.  Fast forward to 2019, and with Ana Popovic now ripping it up a storm Stateside for much of the year with her band, Stéphane has taken the opportunity to team up with French vocalist/flautist Rachel Ombredane to make an intriguing debut disc via Kickstarter donations.  The result is a duo named RosaWay and an excellent Jazz/Synthpop EP named ‘Stranger’

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