kicking up the dust


It's very refreshing to hear, in a stage of blues history like this, where the genre is evolving in many different ways, the fact that artists like Mat Westlake and Paolo Fuschi decide instead to stick to the traditions, by releasing an album that is a touching tribute the the sound of the Chicago Blues of the late 40's and the 50's.

Their new, entirely acoustic new album called Kicking Up The Dust, purposely recorded in a lo-fi style in order to adhere to the meaning of their musical message, simply by using Westlake's harmonica and Fuschi's guitar, is a well-crafted portray of blue's deepest roots. It's a record that brings back the song's format back in a time and a place where the intensity of a tune was simply defined by an artist, his instrument and his voice.

Kicking Up The Dust sees Walklate & Fuschi re-interpreting in their own ways some well-known classics of the genre, by adding unexpected touches of brilliancy and variation to the songs present on the album, like the foot-stomping opener Ain't No Big Deal On You or Bobo Jenkin's phenomenal version of Nothin' But Love.

Both musicians showcase an excellent artistic background and tons of musical skills. Walklate's harmonica style has got class and finesse written through and through and his work on Derrick Morgan's classic Fat Man is a true testimony of Walklate's talent. His vocals are deep, delivered with such a style and charisma that bring back echoes of a young Elvis Presley.

Paolo Fuschi is a highly skilled guitarist and his eclectic style allows himself to shine numerous times in the album. Take, for example, Fuschi's guitar solo on Goin' Down Slow, where the Italian artist, thanks to his instinct and his craftmanship, pens the most perfect intermezzo possible for this tune.

Walklate and Fuschi's interplay is pitch perfect and awe inspiring and runs deep through the whole album. The best example of such perfection can be heard in the only original tune of the record written by both the artists called Don't You Know Me, a song that sums very well the level of artistry of this formidable duo.

Kicking Up The Dust is a record that keeps on giving right to the end. Lightnin' Hopkins version of Black Cat Bone is one of the true peaks of this record for intensity and brilliancy from the two artists and the medley of The Technique's Oh Babe (Sick And Tired) and Don Drummond's Man In The Street magically combine elements of ska and blues of the highest level, thanks to Fuschi and Walklate's ability and versatility.

This record is a beautiful, full immersion in the purity of the blues, performed by two artists with a great level of knowledge, understanding, appreciation and great respect for an ageless genre like this. A truly inspired album and, without a doubt, a career defining moment for these two talented musicians.



Giovanni "Gio" Pilato





Kicking Up The Dust is out now and it is available via the artist's Official Website



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texas blues voices


There are not many blues and gospel music fans left in the world that do not know the story of the Italian Harmonica Blues Maestro and music writer Fabrizio Poggi. This incredible artist discovered his great passion and love for the instrument since a very young age, making him, through the years, one of the most revered and respected musicians both by music fans and fellow artists.

Poggi has always been and still is, throughout his career, one of the most prolific recording artists ever. Between solo albums and side projects (the latest being Fabrizio Poggi & Chicken Mambo), the Italian artist has released 19 albums until now. It comes without saying that Album No. 20, Texas Blues Voices, had to be really something special and it most certainly is.

The Italian artist's brand new album is a fabulous tribute to those unique blues vibes coming from the great state of Texas, a place that so much has given and still does to this genre in the last half a century. It's a homage at 360 degrees to some of Texas' most fabulous singers, guitarists and musicians in general.

Recorded in about 10 days in Austin, Texas, the record assembles a stellar cast of singers and multi-instrumentalist artists, which often play a part in each other's songs, either by providing backing vocals or playing an instrument in general, in short, a total and great Team effort. Poggi's Harmonica, as always, provides a genuinely fabulous sonic blanket to all songs, either originals o traditionals, performed by each artist, through Poggi's great class and ability as a musician.

To find one or two highlights on such a well-balanced album, so beautifully sang and played is a mammouth task. The level of quality of every Special Guest's performance on each song reaches peak of truly, sheer perfection. Carolyn Wonderland's vocals on the album's opener on Blind Willie Johnson's classic Nobody's Fault But Mine are first class and her work on guitar is equally remarkable. The same can be said about that fabulous artist that is Mike Zito and his rendition of Muddy Waters and Bernard Roth's Forty Days And Forty Nights, where the Texan blues/rocker's deliver is absolutely pitch perfect.

Poggi has chosen an array of fantastic musicians to provide the right sounds and rhythms to each of the Guest Artists present on Texas Blues Voices. Bobby Mack and Joe Forlini on guitars, Cole El-Saleh on piano and organs, Dony Wynn on drums and Donnie Price on bass guitar are a sublime Music Machine to listen to and their artistry and individual skills are second to none.

Every song constitutes a different vibe, a different journey in the history of blues. To hear perhaps the youngest sounding 86-years-old artist in the world, Lavelle White, who has sang in her career with giants of the blues like Otis Redding, Sam Cooke and Aretha Franklin amongst others, singing a song she wrote about her roots with such intensity and pathos is truly emotional.

Each Special Guest leaves a strong, emotional impact on Texas Blues Voices; Ruthie Foster's version of Ruth and Brownie McGhee's Walk On is one of the most soulful versions ever heard of this great classic and on the same tune, the work of Mack and Forlini on guitars is an unmissable treat for the ears of any music fans. 

With all the emotions and the intensity pouring out from those songs present on Texas Blues Voices, Fabrizio Poggi's harmonica keeps working incessantly and beautifully in the background, helping to create that necessary balance that makes every song a bit more special, through his unmistakable style.

The Italian artist couldn't close a stellar album like this in a more perfect way than having Guy Forsyth performing with him a fabulous rendition of the traditional Run On. Poggi's Harmonica and Forsyth's superb job on vocals and National Reso-phonic combined together are an irresistible force of nature and the outcome is simply outstanding.

Texas Blues Voices is an album that screams talent, passion, and most of all, unconditional love for the blues. At the same time, it is a splendid record that deservely rewards Fabrizio Poggi for his talent, his belief and his perseverance in carrying the torch of tradition and history that only a music genre like the blues has in its DNA.

"I guess I gotta keep on walkin', no matter what, till I find my way", say the lyrics on one of the album's songs, Walk On. Fabrizio Poggi will keep on walking with the blues for the rest of his life and we cannot be more thankful for that.




Giovanni "Gio" Pilato





Texas Blues Voices is out now and available via Appaloosa Records



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king king live


Rock music has changed a lot in the last 3 decades of music history, assuming different shapes and shades through the incorporation of music elements belonging to different genres. The meaning of what many identify as "Modern Rock", today, can be best described as a combustion of 70's prog-rock with fragments of funk and blues and in this moment in time, not many bands in the United Kingdom are able to play Modern Rock with such perfection as well as the Scottish band King King does.

With three previous albums in the bag and a triumphant history of six years On The Road spent together as a collective, in which King King have received many awards and repeatedly recognised by the press as one of the best rock bands in the country, the Scottish quartet has now decided that this is the right time to release a live album that would capture perfectly the intensity of their live performances.

Recorded in two of the band's most favourite venues, Live is a 2CDs plus a Bonus DVD album that displays a band in excellent form. King King is a collective that assembles 4 highly skilled musicians, which all contribute, through their individual skills, to build a marvellous wall of sound on stage or in studio. Bob Fridzema on keyboards is a real master in carrying, with his artistry, the Progressive Rock part of the King King unmistakable sound, something that can be easily spotted on the Live album in the opening Lose Control or in another outstanding track like All Your Life. Wayne Proctor on drums and Lindsay Coulson on bass guitar are such a perfect rhythm section, maybe among the best in Europe. Their alchemy, on stage, is so highly in tune to make them sound like their instruments are joined together as one, with flawless results.

Their band leader, Alan Nimmo, is certainly one of the most respected and talented guitarists and singer/songwriter in the country. When it comes to write songs, the Glaswegian artist possesses such a natural ability in writing lyrics and modelling the sound of the band in a unique way that provides the best possible sonic outfit to the songs he writes. Nimmo's singing style can be emotionally intense or thunderous and travel side by side with his ability to play guitar, depending by the tempo and the theme of the song King King play. Waking Up and You Stopped The Rain are the perfect demonstration of Nimmo's artistry at 360 degrees and among the most beautiful songs ever written by the Scottish artist.

King King is, undoubtedly, one of the best bands in the United Kingdom nowadays. Every time these four musicians work together on stage, the harmony, brilliancy and quality of their sound explode in full, like in tunes like Crazy and the closing Let Love In, where the talent of this formidable quartet get fully unfolded with remarkable results.

Live is an album not just for long-time fans of the band but also for those that never had the chance either to listen to any of their previous albums or saw them performing on stage yet. The record is not just the celebration of an important moment of their careers but also a statement of sheer class and craftmanship from one of the best UK bands of this last decade. The Ministries of Modern Rock.




Giovanni "Gio" Pilato






Live is out now and can be purchased via Manhaton Records


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glenn hughes resonate


It has been some time now, for Glenn Hughes, to make a new record as a solo artist. After five years spent recording with Black Country Communion and California Breed, Hughes has finally decided to break this long hiatus by releasing his twelfth album, called Resonate.

Few recent health issues have not certainly stopped the beating rock'n'roll heart of a tried-and-true artist like Hughes and Resonate is the definite proof of it. Hughes let it loose completely on his brand new record, by unleashing a free-form album in which the American bassist and singer/songwriter shows all the different sides of his artistry.

Hughes catwalks in many different musical territories, sometimes with unexpected and interesting results and in very few occasions, with slightly less memorable ones. Resonate sees Hughes accompained by first class musicians like Soren Andersen, guitarist and co-producer of the album, Lachy Doley on keys and Pontus Engborg on drums. The musician's skills shine throughout the whole record but particularly on prog-rock musical excursions on the album, such as on tunes like Steady and Flow.

One of the great virtues of Resonate is that it clearly sounds like an album where Hughes had a lot of fun to record. Landmines is the best expression of love and passion for funky music that the Bass Maestro could showcase, on such an eclectic album like this.

Things, though, become more serious when the American artist digs deep into his most congenial musical ground, which is hard rock and metal. My Town, God Of Money and, most of all, the splendid How Long show an artist totally in control of his music and his talent, both as a singer and as a musician. His vocals are still as sharp as razor blades, just as his incredible artistry on bass.

Even little episodes like Stumble & Go, where Hughes doesn't feel like he is playing exactly on his favourite playground, can be easily forgiven. The album closing, Long Time Gone, is among the best moments of the record and, at the same time,  the ultimate apotheosis of what Glenn Hughes truly is; a versatile singer, an extraordinary musician and a sublime raconteur.

Resonate is the return to form of an artist that has given so much to rock and roll in the last four decades and still going on full throttle. Like the finest bottle of Brunello Di Montalcino red wine, Hughes demonstrates through this record that his music tastes better and better as the years go by. Good to have you back, Mr. Hughes!




Giovanni "Gio" Pilato






Resonate is out now and available via Frontiers Music



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beth hart fire on the floor cover


The music industry is one of those many businesses in which you may find either artists very good about selling an image of themselves far from their real personalities or others unable to fake, in the slightest, who they really are, what they stand for and the places in their souls where their songs come from.

The latters are those every day's heroes who wear their hearts on their sleeves and often make of music the only possible vehicle through which they are able to express their fears, joys, hopes and disillusions and in that respect, Beth Hart certainly fits the brief.

Written in a particularly difficult time of her personal life, Fire On The Floor, Hart's new album, is a definite step up from the artist's latest and commercially successful album, Better Than Home. Fire On The Floor it's an album that depicts perfectly the singer and songwriter's urgency to find refuge in one of the very few things that helped her throughout her life, which is writing music, as remedy to fight bad things happening while she was working on this record.

To help Hart to strike the right artistic balance between the power of her beautiful voice, the sharpness of her songwriting and to find the right musicians able to translate Hart's abilities into music, Oliver Leiber, one of the most acclaimed producers in the business, came into the scene.

Leiber's supervision on Fire On The Floor was certainly a vital element, especially by helping to bring into the studio to record with the L.A. artist top class musicians like Michael Landau on guitar or Rick Marotta on drums, just to cite few of them. Combining excellent studio musicians to the high quality of the songs written by this phenomenal singer/songwriter, it makes of Fire On The Floor one of the most accomplished and beautifully written albums of Hart's entire career so far.

It is a record made of two separate halves. The first part shows a dazzling Beth Hart exploring, through her unique voice, a serie of different genres with such vocal agility to render anyone listening to this record speechless. From the opener Jazz Man, a song evoking 30s and 40s smoky club's atmospheres to the playful and happy rootsy vibes of Let's Get Together, the Californian artist doesn't fail to impress on any moment of the album, no matter whichever style she sings. Hart's voice is one of the most beautiful instruments ever created by the hand of God, something that can recreate the same goose-pumping feeling that a guitar riff, a piano solo or an entire Horn Section can give, all at the same time through her incredible vocal versatility.

When Hart pushes on the rock and roll accelerator, she becomes absolutely unstoppable. Fat Man is a tune that Beth Hart wrote several years ago with a songwriter called Glen Burtnik but never finished completely, until now. Landau's guitar riff that runs throughout the song is infectiously mesmerising and Hart's vocals are as sublime and powerful as much as they sounded in a memorable live album at the Paradiso club in Amsterdam Hart recorded several years ago.

If there is something that Beth Hart is never short of, it's passion. Passion for life, people and love. That very same love that sometimes can be either the Baddest Blues or A Lie, as she sings halfway her new record, through a tune called, infact, Love Is A Lie.

Love is the key word that defines the second half of the album, in an initial downward spiral that finds its focal point in one of the most poignants songs Hart has ever written, called Woman You've Been Dreaming Of. The song tells a tale of betrayal, a moral one more than a physical one, in which the singer/songwriter describes in such an intense way, the pain, sadness and sufferance she is going through when she realises that the love of her life is losing interest in her.

Another splendid musical moment, among many, on Fire On The Floor is the song called Picture In A Frame. Hart becomes one of the most inspired lyricists in the world, especially when it comes to capture her emotions under form of a song, as in this case. The tune is all about the desire to bring back the initial sparkle between a man and a woman and to re-live those moments that built the palace of their love through a serie of images, moments stopped in time through the eyes of a camera. Hart's singing style is incredibly honest and it's impossible for the listener not to empathyze with what she is expressing through the magic of her voice. 

The closing song of this superb record is about something that Beth Hart has been mentioning few times lately, during press conferences. No Place Like Home talks about the need of the L.A. artist to be able to spend a bit more time in the comfort of her own place, trying to maximise every minute of her life, perhaps even at the cost of slowing down a little with her very intense Live Touring schedule.

Fire On The Floor is the culmination of what Beth Hart is in her entirety. One of the most naturally gifted female artists worldwide, a passionate and warm-hearted woman and, at the same time, a vulnerable and sometimes tormented soul. This is an album that shows an artist at the peak of her career, both as a singer and as a songwriter. It's Beth Hart's ultimate songbook and her personal masterpiece.





Giovanni "Gio" Pilato






Fire On The Floor is out now in Europe and due to be released in the United States on 3rd February 2017 via Provogue/Mascot Label Group



"Buy a record, support the artists, preserve the future of music"


live at the globe


One of the many beauties of a country like the great United Kingdom is that, wherever you go in the country, no matter whether it is England, Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales, you will be always guaranteed to find everywhere great musicians and people loving music in general.

Daz Edwards and Luke Bradshaw from Wales are both great musicians and music lovers. The duo, formerly known as Coolhand, has been already guests of our website, when BBR reviewed their self-titled debut album, a remarkable record showcasing an eclectic sound tinted with folk, rock and few sprinkles of pop here and there. The whole package supported by an all around excellent songwriting and production.

Coolhand are though, most of all, a live band and their new album, Live At The Globe, displays perfectly where the root of their sound comes from. In addition, what a live album does best, most times, is to give justice even more to the artistry of each band member and this live recording certainly hit the spot.

Daz Edwards has got one of those rich and intense voices able to warm up arenas filled with thousands people. His vocal delivery is always passionate and sincere and songs like the opener Virtual Life or Give Love A Chance are the perfect demonstration of his many qualities as a lead singer.

Edward's fellow bandmate and guitarist extraordinaire Luke Bradshaw is a musician that every band would dream to have. His guitar playing is slick, solid and his timing in keeping the whole band on stage all together is absolutely pitch perfect.

If you have not had yet the chance of getting Coolhand's studio album, Live At The Globe will give you the opportunity to get the full setlist of their wonderful debut album. Together with being excellent musicians, Edwards and Bradshaw are great storytellers too, through their songs. The live versions of Hardly The Time, a song about past disillusions and hopes in the future and Looking Back, the story of a man paying for a night of romance (and more) are simply superb, certainly Bluebird Review's favourites among an overall, very solid live album.

Live At The Globe also gives the opportunity and the right platform to the band to "test" new songs with their fans, like Just A Man, a very spiritual and powerful tune that could be, potentially, included in one of Coolhand's next albums in years to come.

Live At The Globe is an album that shows in full the artistic depth of two skilled musicians, whose passion, respect and love for music allow them to be able to deliver constantly songs of great qualities. Something that it is not easy to find, in nowaday's music business. 



Giovanni "Gio" Pilato





Live At The Globe is out now and is available via ITunes


"Buy a record, support the artists, preserve the future of music"

Music is and will always be the best and healthier therapy to help fighting personal or professional issues in one’s life. You can be either a music fan or an Average Joe or a very skilled and talented artist like Aynsley Lister. aynsley lister

His brand new record, Eyes Wide Open, the eighth of his career, displays an artist that seems to have finally found the perfect balance between inspired song-writing and his personal passion for blues, rock, funk and soul.

Lister’s new record is one of the most honest and open autobiographical records that Bluebird Reviews has heard for quite some time. The strong will from Lister to re-connect with music and his fans transpires immediately through the album’s opener, All Of Your Love. The tune has a crisp, bluesy attack and the main guitar riff that support the whole track is a perfect reminder of the artist’s big passion for the Led Zeppelin’s sound.

"Buy a record, support the artists, preserve the future of music"

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