Announces Headline Madame JoJo’s Show – 2nd December
“Imagine Tina Turner fronting Outkast at Bette Midler’s bat mitzvah.”
That’s how singer-songwriter Chantal Claret describes her solo debut The One, The Only…, a stunning album that swings with retro rhythmic swagger and songs that feel like revitalized Motown gems. Co-written and co-produced by Chantal, the album is meaty, beaty, big and bouncy, with Chantal putting a modern twist on early ’60s femme-pop. “I wanted to make music that sounds like it could’ve been written in the ’60s or ’70s, but with a big fat hip-hop-like low end,” she says. “Luckily for me, a lot of amazing people came together to help me pull it off–not because they were looking for a payday, but because they believed in the songs and that means everything to me. I hustled my ass off to make this record happen. I’m really proud of it and hope people have as much fun listening to it as I had making it.” Chantal enlisted the likes of Rob Kleiner (David Guetta, Cee-Lo), Pigeon John, Lionshare, Mher Filian and mixer Mark “Exit” Goodchild (Erykah Badu, Cee-Lo) to help bring her musical vision to life.
Traveling to the UK after a series of US tour dates earlier this year, this will be Chantal’s first ever live show in the UK. Definitely not to be missed!
Wille And The Bandits at The Hare & Hounds, Birmingham Nov.21st
inc. Album review ‘Grow’
Grow, is the latest release form Wille & Co. It follows the bands philosophy of lyrics reflecting life today, our loves, failures, politics, mankind and self respect. But, as they say, its the way they tell ‘em. My first listen through, left me with thinking ‘Got To Do better’ had a slightly commercialised feel to it, before ‘Gypsy Woman’ kicks in, with the dangers of forbidden love. Then, into another gear for a full on Wille special, ‘Try To Be Yourself’, gritty edged vocals pour over the galvanising instrumentation. ‘Under The Sun’ starts slowly with heartfelt lyrics, before Wille’s slide guitar takes it to another level as the voice fades away.
Unmistakable bass and percussion are provided by the mesmerizing 6 strings of Matt Brooks and spellbinding rhythms from Andy Naumanns. Wille Edwards, steel lap slide guitar worked to fabulous effect.
That slide, strongly evident in the weeping solo breaking into the mid part of ‘Why D’you Do It’ and ‘Son Of The Gun’, bracketed by dirty guitar and that gravel voice of Wille’s. ‘Keep Moving On’ opens with Matt’s double bass accenting the track, following on with his bow sawing through those heavy strings in the opening bars of ‘Forgiveness’, wonderful, I can see Matt eyes closed, lost in his dark rhythmic jungle. Wille opens ‘Angel’ with ‘Spanish’ flare before that heavy base and drum beat punches in, a superb instrumental that goes stratospheric 2 minutes in, soaring guitar, percussive outbreaks and that sticky thick base, before anchoring back into a beautiful groove and that slide into heaven, 10+ minutes of heaven.
I don’t know of another band quite like W&TB, they produce stunning sounds, favourites of the blues and roots festival circuit and now at gig’s playing previous signature songs like the lovely ‘Mammon’, alongside this new work. I’m still not fully sold on the opening, ‘Got To Do Better’, but they certainly do, the album is a superb collection of music, turn the sound up, the light down, lie on the floor and let it flow over.
Wille And The Bandits, produce a unique sound, mesmerizing, all pervading throughout the room and into everybody’s very soul. They have an enviable list of songs from multiple albums to select from, at the Hare & Hounds, Breakfree and the new Grow, provided most of the material. ‘Got To Do Better’, my least favourite of the new album, proved much better in its raw performance mode. We were treated to the bands take on Peter Green’s ‘Black Magic Woman’, Santana would weep with frustration if he heard WATB’s reworking, superb. It could only get better as we listen to the beautiful ”Mammon’ from Breakfree, gently delivered by Wille. ‘Chillout’ opens with Andy’s tongue drum, as Wille’s vocals sandpaper the mike, his slide is working its magic. Andy sits at the rear watching Matt and Wille like a hawk, controlling the tempo, as Matt uses his 6 string base in ways that would embarrass many a lead guitarist. ‘Under The Grove’ starts with a nice acoustic opening from Wille, Matt comes in taking bow to the skeletal double bass, as Andy caresses the cymbals and drums with ‘soft’ sticks. The blues charting ‘Gypsy Woman’ and rattling ‘Son Of The Gun’ fire, off Grow. The whole room is full of moving, musically intoxicated believers, as we build up to a full 10+ minutes of the fabulous ‘Angel’, which showcases all of there artistry, wonderful bass rhythms, stunning drums and the hypnotic sounds conjured up by the Wille on his lap guitar, unforgettable. BUT there’s more, they close to a version of Dire Straits, ‘Money For Nothing’, words fail me, I’ve heard it before, but I am still in awe of the sound from this band of sorcerers. Look out for them, they are festival favourites, with blues and roots particularly, once heard never forgotten; a word I hate but cannot avoid, awesome.
Supporting Wille And The Bandids at the Hare & Hounds, was local folksinger Chris Cleverley. With some self penned work and traditional songs, like, ‘Oh Shenandoaha’, and an acapella ‘Polly Vaughan’, very nicely done. I particularly liked his tale of the boy doomed forever to live in a church bell tower ‘The rafters’. A fine voice and acoustic guitar are his hallmark, I’m sure I will see more of Chris in the future.
Words & Photos by Graham Munn
The Woodwards II – Out now.
UK Tour – London// Manchester// Sowery Bridge//Eaglescliffe// Stroud// Preston//Middlesborough
What do you do when Peter Schuyff sings a song? You simply listen. Peter Schuyff has seen just about everything there is to see. When you are one who has seen everything, you become a storyteller with many stories to tell. As a young artist he came up in the famed Chelsea Hotel among the likes of Andy Warhol, Dennis Hopper, and Dee Dee Ramone to name a few. After an epically long time he began writing music and that is when he teamed up with Stevie Guy and The Woodwards were born.
The Woodwards will be releasing their new album, The Woodwards II on 04th November. The release follows on from two storming singles, The Wood and Nothing, which have been described as addictive, utterly pure and unique, dark, twisted, beautiful and enchanting.
The album is sure not to disappoint. Combining blues, folk and Americana with pop, funk and urban. It’s a collection of songs, which showcase Peter’s gritty and witty songwriting. This, when contrasted with Stevie’s beautifully sweet yet sultry vocal, creates something unique and magical.
Peter commented on the album; “I’m a painter by trade. I make abstract paintings that are rarely about me. The songs are all me. While the paintings paint themselves I take full credit and responsibility for the songs. I didn’t start writing songs until my late forties so I have plenty to say and experience to back it up. I like to use lots of literary references with the hope that smart people will like em. It’s dark and funny. City-boy music. Music for grown-ups”
The album was produced and mixed by Attie Bauw (Judas Priest, Bootsie Collins, Simple Minds) and features Maarten Van Der Grinten on guitar and Boudewijn Bauw on drums.
The Woodwards will be playing at M-Ink in Middlesbourgh on Thursday 21st November, The Waiting Room in Eaglescliffe on Sunday 24th November, The Dulcimer in Manchester on Tuesday 26th November, The Puzzle Hall In Sowerby Bridge on 28th November, The New Continental in Preston on 30th November, The Slaughtered Lamb in London on Sunday 1st December and The Prince Albert in Stroud on Tuesday 3rd December.