by Giovanni "Gio" Pilato
For someone like Erja Lyytinen, being raised listening in her home town in Kuopio, Finland, to many different blues influences, from Son House to Robben Ford, Mississippi John Hurt to Brian Setzer, to play in 2014 at the historic 100 Club venue in London, Uk, must have been a dream come true.
The Finnish artist is now already at her 11th album collectively, between studio, live and collaborative records with other artists. On this live recording, from the opening gospel of It's A Blessing onward, the Finnish artist opens the doors of her music world and her personal music heroes, one of these being the great Elmore James, to which Lyytinen dedicated her previous studio album, The Sky Is Crying. Five of the 11 tracks included in the album are Elmore James' but penned in an outstanding format by Lyytinen through her very personal style. Hints of funk emerge occasionally as well on tracks like Person To Person, showing, once again, the deep understanding Lyytinen has about different music style and how well they can work together. From the whole live album, one track in particular though, still from James' back catalogue, The Sky Is Crying, stands out definitely. Such track demonstrates a level of intensity and an incredible depth by the Finnish artist in playing the slide and singing style, which takes one's breath away throughout the whole duration of the song.
But Erja Lyytinen has got many surprises hidden in her own repertoire; Change Of Season is a splendid blues/rock ballad containing a stunnning solo by Davide Floreno, who co-wrote the song with Lyytinen, Let It Shine has that rousing blues tempo that makes you tap your foot incessantly.
Erja Lyytinen is not just a national treasure for Finland as an artist but for the entire world of Blues/Rock and that emerges once again in this outstanding live album. Her music style is fresh, contemporary, forward-thinking and her voice and stage charisma have got that natural fleur and swagger that just pure artists have got built within themselves. If anyone is not aware yet of Erja Lyytinen, please get this album and enjoy it, you won't be disappointed.
Giovanni "Gio" Pilato
You can see Erja Lyytinen live on Tour next to you at this link: Tour Dates
Album release date: June 8th 2015