Wednesday, May 25, 2016
ELAINE SAMUELS & KINDRED SPIRIT: "Phoenix Rising"
Label: Cherry Red Records/KS 2016
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom
Quick question. Have you been searching for something you can't quite define? Are you travelling on a quest through space and time to solve the riddle written by mankind? Perhaps you are searching for an island in this vast and empty sea? Then congratulations my friend you have found a kindred spirit in Elaine Samuels. Indeed. It's Glastonbury and Guildford. Folk rock and Progressive ditto. Mystical, medieval, songs and stories about children of the stars and come together, live and love, and let the music set you free. It's like the genius once wrote and sang for that matter, what's so funny about peace, love and understanding???
You could say that the British Prog-Folk band are the children of the children of the revolution. It's very much the ideas and stories of the hippie generation. Only the next step or perhaps not? Elaine is however the leader of the pack and her haunting yet smooth vocals are setting the agenda of singer/songwriter meet folk and prog. It's music and arrangements sort of in the tradition of Renaissance, Curved Air, Fairport Convention, Joni Mitchell, and Jethro Tull. Or if you prefer, the more down-to-earth and nitty-gritty version of Blackmore's Night? Not quite, but, again, sorta.
Flute, violin, sax, the whole she-bang and former Judas Priest drummer Les Binks? Blimey. It's quite the eclectic mix and they've decided to cover one of my favorite chill out songs. Namely 'Horse With No Name' originally done by America the band and not the continent. Varied and perceptive song-writing by Samuels define the record and even though it starts to slow down a bit too much and loses some steam towards the end, it's still a pleasant surprise. Don't expect to find a lot of uptempo tracks and make sure to peel back the clouds, let in the sun...