Every now and then we hear of large international corporation mergers, global conglomerates making themselves colossally richer and more potent.
Well, who cares about that? We aren’t normally affected – unless it is to our usual detriment. But we can be impacted by this glorious blues merger of classy vocal and guitar, Eliza Neals’ latest delivering yet another collection of gutsily crafted and performed songs.
Brilliant band axeman Howard Glazer with guests Paul Nelson and Billy Davis provide the superb riff licks and sassy slide [check out Glazer’s scorcher on Ain’t My Dog No More] that are a perfect accompaniment to Neals’ soulful blues voice.
That vocal can, as ever, produce an affecting range. On Cold Cold Night, the double-dubbing/harmonising is stunning, with rises that make the hair on the back – well, you know – and Nelson’s acoustic accompaniment is beautiful. This is a powerful song, full of beauty and blues punch.
Hard Killing Floor follows this, and the screaming guitar is haunting, Neals emotively adding to the mood with some further solo blues melancholy and harmony-tinge to smooth out the pain. Next, Call Me Moonshine opens with piercing wah-wah, and the beat of a pumping blues riff kicks in and we are taken on another immaculate ride.
The album opens with the acoustic slide of Cleotus and Neals singing sweetly above hand claps and other percussive slaps to set an unadorned but live-like ambience. Second Another Lifetime introduces the memorable mood of the whole, the blues served up by that musical merger of consummate emotive vocal and guitar – supporting band full of further perfections, and check out details here.
The album closes on At the Crossroads with guest guitarist Billy Davis. This is a piano-driven ballad swelled by Neals’ gracefully gravel voice and bursts of harmonising as well as echoing lines. It is a slowed calming end to an album that pumps out the most sustained high-quality blues numbers you will find on any one album.
Eliza and Howard are a class act, and this is yet another album from them that wears a blues heart on a stylish sleeve.
|Eliza and Howard|