From the Album: Back to the Spirit of 66, Year of Release: 2023#bluesrock #blues #rock
Lyrics: Roses and Lavender
Canadian born Layla Zoe has released her 17th album with this double CD set. Residing in the Netherlands, Zoe packs venues and festivals with fans of her whiskey soaked vocals and high energy rocking music. This set is recorded live at the Spirit of 66 in Belgium during her “The World Changes Tour.”
Zoe handles the lead vocals. Krissy Matthews plays a stratospheric lead guitar and backs on vocals. Paul Jobson plays bass, keys and also adds vocals. On drums is Felix Dehmel. The band plays cuts from their recent releases to a very enthusiastic crowd.
The Beatles’ “Golden Slumbers” opens the first disc. It’s acapella and powerfully done. The rocking “Dark Heart” follows, a driving number with intense guitar licks and a fierce beat. “The World Could Change,” a slow, heavy rocking number. A husky voiced delivery and more stinging guitar make this cool. Organ accompaniment and some ringing guitar work take “Praying Kind” in a different direction as Zoe and the band take us to church. A long, cool instrumental intro and passionate vocals are featured on this cut, which builds to a nice conclusion.
“Leave You For Good” amps up in performance and sound. The guitar rings loudly and the beat is hot and heavy. Zoe sings with in controlled chaotic manner as she blasts her way through this bluesy song. Two big guitar solos precede the ending where Zoe slows things down and growls out the finale. Next is “Susan” where the piano is featured for the first time; this cut hearkens to the days of small, dark lounges. Zoe sings with angry passion with the piano and drums as accompaniment. It’s a cool cut that leads us into the rocking “Weakness.” This one is a hard rocking song with a heavy metal feel to it. “Ghost Train” finishes up the first disc, a driving and heavy rocking cut with blistering guitar and a heady feeling. Zoe again sings with her signature passion.
The second CD opens with “Roses and Lavender,” a ten-minute rock opus with extended, massive guitar soloing and an otherwise slow and somber feel to it. Gritty and grimy and hard-core stuff. “Watch What You’re Doing” follows, a strident and in your face cut with Zoe grinding out the lead vocals and more in-your-face guitar to match the mood. Things take a 180 as Zoe and company go acoustic to start with and give the listener a pretty ballad with “Brother.” The song switches to electric guitar and there is some restrained soloing. The organ is also well done and adds to the mood. Zoe sings with passion and emotion as the song goes on for over 13 minutes. The show continues with a mid-tempo cut entitled “We’re All The Same,” a grimy and dirty sounding cut proclaiming equality. More of the ringing, cool guitar licks abound as the band rocks out. The album concludes with “He Loves Me,” another ballad. This opens with Zoe and only piano accompaniment, a stark and emotion laden sound. I awaited a big onslaught but the cut remained true to the opening, a pretty and pensive piece that creates a cool contrast to the rest of the album.
With vocals sounding like they have been forged in smoke-filled clubs and in a world of grime and grit; the resultant sound is like the torturing of Layla’s soul which gives her this emotive singing style. Massive, rocking guitar, impressive back-line support and some tasty keyboards will make rock and blues rock fans day. It’s a fiery live show and I am sure her fans old and new will be delighted with this baker’s dozen cuts, twelve new along with the opening cover. Another set of tune delivered in an in-your-face manner with a rocking band and vocalist.
Artist: Layla Zoe
Vocals, Lyricist: Layla Zoe
Drums: Felix Dehmel
Electric Guitar: Krissy Matthews
Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Electric Bass Guitar: Paul Jobson
Composer: Jan Laacks
Music Publisher: Copyright Control
You can download the music :
℗ Layla Zoe
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