Flyinshoes Review

Welcome to FSR our Roots Music Reviewers & Pod/broadcasters Community

Here are some of the artists we are helping "Look for America"

A full integrated conventional and digital media promotion service for the independently minded musician.

Become a Patron!

Erja Lyytinen: The Sky Is Crying. CD review

Years ago, when I was sent a marvellous retrospective collection of the recently-deceased Little Jimmy Scott for review for Songbook, I wrote, “Such is the quality and pitch of his voice that in comparing him with the best, those comparisons must be with Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holliday and Peggy Lee”. Similarly, it would be unfair to compare Erja’s take on Elmore with Elmore himself.

Erja, you see, is from Finland, where a forward-looking government, appalled by the incidence of heart disease, carried out research and concluded that the juicy berries that ripen during Finland’s short growing season were a missing essential part of the North Karelian diet, that smoking should be discouraged and cholesterol reduction should be a health priority. It’s worked, and young, healthy Finns, like Erja, are thriving.

What’s the point of this? Just juxtapose the healthy lifestyle of an energetic, blooming child of the 70s with the disease-ridden carcass that Elmore James had become by his death in 1963, of heart failure, of course. Elmore was only 45, just seven years older than Erja’s current age. That Elmore’s life was wracked by poverty, poor healthcare, chain-smoking, excessive self-distilled moonshine consumption and the lifestyle of an itinerant black musician is in no doubt. There can also be little doubt that the alcohol and tobacco over-consumption contributed to that voice – hoarse, husky, timbrous, soulful and pleading.

Erja Lyytinen doesn’t sound like that when she sings. We know from previous releases that she is a fine, developing blues singer with estimable expressive abilities, an ear for those evocative blue notes. Fans hope that she has a long and successful life in front of her. It is unfair therefore, to compare her (or most musicians) vocally with Elmore James, and we must appreciate her own unique contribution to the blues and be happy that she is in the prime of life.

Leaving aside Erja’s singing which is passionate and sympathetic to the material, and is developing into a very fine instrument, she makes a fair fist of interpreting nine of Elmore’s finest cuts on The Sky Is Crying. In paying humble tribute to this innovator, Erja dazzles in celebrating Elmore’s other fantastic attribute, bottleneck guitar, yet nearly always sticks closely to original release arrangements with any embellishments tasteful and in keeping with the oft-imitated James attack. In resisting the temptation to add modern studio polish and trickery, Erja maintains the rawness that is so essential to the emotion and desolation of James's delivery. Why meddle with what, to many, is perfection?

In amassing over a decade’s worth of experience as a blueswoman, she has the understanding, sensibilities and feel too for Elmore's classic sides to do them more than justice. In so doing, she has not merely changed the third person pronouns to emote the finest of Elmore's recordings from a woman's perspective, but has naturally brought female nuances to songs which are in the DNA of the blues. Erja is able to affect subtly the feelings originally expressed in the 50s and 60s where male dominance and machismo held sway. 'Baby Please Set A Date' in Erja's interpretation has a wholly different feel to Elmore's reading Both are pleading and longing, but in the 2014 recording, the female vocal lends an almost 50s pop-soul feel to a sprightly and personal take.

On occasion, changes are made which differentiate slightly the James recordings from the Lyytinen cuts, but these have not been made without considerable thought having gone into the arrangements. The extended soloing in ‘It Hurts Me Too’ is well-judged, superbly-pitched, displays sublime Elmore tone and is never indulgent. A slowing of the pace of the mournful ‘The Sky Is Crying’ lends it an increased desolate ambience, a heightened sense of emptiness and hopelessness and may be the most atmospheric of all eleven cuts.

Got To Move’ is probably most at odds with the James recording, here arranged as an enjoyable low-key funk workout driven by Roger Inniss's bubbling bassline. ‘Erja's Contribution To Jazz’ takes Elmore's instrumental of (almost) the same name as a platform before the Lyytinen stamp is imprinted. After a note-faithful introduction to the original, she makes it her own, demonstrating along the way that she not only understands technique, but phrasing for atmospheric and emotional effect. She also demonstrates an admirable empathy with the irreplaceable giant that is Elmore James, proven by a full-octane tour de force live ‘Dust My Broom’, a fitting coda to a beautiful tribute.

http://www.erjalyytinen.com

http://rockhall.com/inductees/elmore-james/bio/

http://www.irishhealth.com/clin/ffl/finland.html

 

 

 

Views: 98

Add a Comment

You need to be a member of Flyinshoes Review to add comments!

Join Flyinshoes Review

About

Keep the wheels on the hub

Become a Patron!

Would like to contribute to FSR and the House Concert Hub? Please help keep the wheels on the hub, this site is run on House Concert Principles and relies on your donation. Thank You for keeping this in mind

 Twitter



Youtube



https://open.spotify.com/embed/user/medicinemusic/playlist/6tI6eMaE5D7b5QZ0eCjmLb

Face Book

The Medicine Show is the home of the House Concert here is our rolling news

 

This site is the sister site to The House Concert Hub community and has been inherited in the main by kind donation of Shaun Belcher and Trailer Star.

It is the sum total of over ten years of tending a tender love of music by Shaun, a life time with Trailer Star and five or so years of an association with Rob Ellen from Medicine Music.

The House Concert Hub community will use it for the purpose of providing a online, all singing all dancing, review and preview area for the music of the community, and the music community at large. Have a look around tell your friends use the share button, tell the world.

We need reviewers, the idea is we have a correspondents in every area of the musical global village, it will be edited and co-ordinated by Rob Ellen of Medicine Music publicist promoter and presenter, if you wish to subscribe as a correspondent, join up here and drop Rob a line, he will send you cd's and send you to shows, display and publicise your content.

Here starts an other adventure.

  Visit The House Concert European Hub (& Acoustic Music Club Network)

 

 


www.euroamericanachart.eu

May 2018

1
John Prine
67 pts.
The Tree of Forgiveness
Oh Boy Records
JJC,MB,SP,RM
2
Levi Parham
58 pts.
It's All Good
Continental Records
CRS,JB,TK
3
Jeb Barry and the Pawn Shop Saints
55 pts.
Texas, etc...
DollyRocker
HDB,CVL,DHO
4
Michael McDermott
54 pts.
Out From Under
Continental Song City
JDO,LK,BK
5
Sam Morrow
48 pts.
Concrete and Mud
Forty Below Records
MA,JBO,HB
6
Caleb Caudle
39 pts.
Crushed Coins
Cornelius Chapel Records
 
7
Western Centuries
36 pts.
Songs From The Deluge
Free Dirt Records
MF
8
Carter Sampson
34 pts.
Lucky
Continental Song City
 
9
Charley Crockett
30 pts.
Lonesome as a Shadow
Son of Davy/30 Tigers
 
10
Courtney Marie Andrews
28 pts.
May Your Kindness Remain
Loose Music
JV
11
Ed Romanoff
27 pts.
The Orphan King
Pinerock Records
 
 
Joan Baez
27 pts.
Whistle Down The Wind
Proper Records
HD
 
Pharis and Jason Romero
27 pts.
Sweet Old Religion
Lula Records
SZ,LM
14
Gretchen Peters
24 pts.
Dancing With The Beast
Proper Records
KG
 
Old Crow Medicine Show
24 pts.
Volunteer
Columbia Records
GF
 
Will Stewart
24 pts.
County Seat
Cornelius Chapel Records
 
17
Ben Reel
22 pts.
Land Of Escape
B REEL Records
GC,FC
 
Birds Of Chicago
22 pts.
Love In Wartime
Signature Sounds
 
 
Emily Herring
22 pts.
Gliding
Eight 30 Records
RST,RH
20
Jenny van West
21 pts.
Happiness To Burn
Independent
PJ,FS,JJ
 
Mary Gauthier
21 pts.
Rifles And Rosary Beads
In the Black Records
 
22
Sarah Shook & The Disarmers
20 pts.
Years
Bloodshot Records
FCE
23
David Starr
19 pts.
South And East
Independent
HM
24
Cold Tone Harvest
18 pts.
After You
Independent
 
25
Grant Peeples
17 pts.
Settling Scores vol. 2
Continental

© 2018   Created by The Medicine Show.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

Site Meter