It’s barely been two years since Grace and Aaron Bond had a musical epiphany. After eight years of making music largely as the fancy took them, the husband and wife team from Essex discovered they could make a pretty great Blues Rock sound. In fact, they liked it so much that the duo headed out on the roads of England in an old VW Camper to test out their new musical love – and then came Covid.
At this time you would expect the story to take a downward turn. Instead, the Pandemic proved to be the making of them. Proof of that is in a record-breaking four wins at this year’s British Blues Awards. Alongside Best Emerging Artist, Best Band and Best Album they also picked up the curious Most Inspirational Online Performance award. All of which makes both band, and album well worth a listen for all Blues Rock lovers out there (and I know there are many around Bonn area!)
Popular French rockers Rozedale are back with something new, and and I don’t mean just a change in spelling (from Rosedale) either. The band centred around Amandyn Roses’ punchy vocals and Charlie Fabert’s tasteful guitar licks have completed their third studio disc. ‘Third album syndrome’ (there’s even a name for it) usually develops as follows: New band kicks off with a solid debut, filled with songs that have perhaps been years in the making (1st release). Band then find out what went down best from this first disc and use that knowledge to deliver a solid follow-up (2nd release). But then comes the question: should release number three stay safe and be more of the same? Should it show progression and risk losing fans? For Rozedale it’s make your mind up time..
Actually, that subtle spelling change is a clue to the musical path taken. Yes, things have changed, but not too much. Overall the band has kept it’s sound – and that’s a good thing. Using the mixing skills of Chris Sheldon (Radiohead/Foo Fighters) is an equally wise move – guaranteeing that this release maintains a Rock edginess even in its introspective moments.
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.
As happened during the first Corona lockdown, musicians, creative souls that they are, have been finding ways to keep their music in the public eye or get the buzz from a live show (depending on your viewpoint of the musicians concerned). So let’s take a look at some of the music that’s been happening in the musical bubble of 3songsbonn.com.
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.
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.
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.
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.