I have always believed that music needs no translation, that music speaks for itself and transcends language barriers. Such is the case with the 13-track release, Mitch Woods - Blues Beyond Borders, Live in Istanbul, recorded during the Efes Pilsen Blues Festival in Turkey. From the audience's enthusiastic reaction to the music, the Blues clearly stands on its own.
Mitch Woods - Blues Beyond Borders, Live in Istanbul
Mitch Woods - Blues Beyond Borders, Live in Istanbul: Solid Gold Cadillac, Down Boy Down, Mojo Mambo, Boogie Woogie Bar-B-Q, I Got A New Car, What Can I Do, Queen Bee, Long, Lean & Lanky, Third Degree, Crawfishin', Rocket 88, In The Night/Lambaya Puf De, House Of Blue Lights
Personnel: Mitch Woods - piano, vocals, Amadee Castenell - sax, background vocals, Cornell Williams - bass, vocals on the song, Third Degree, Adam Gabriel - guitar, background vocals, Larry Vann - drums
Mitch Woods and his band, the Rocket 88s traveled to Turkey as part of the Efes Pilsen Blues Festival, where they performed 26 concerts in 20 cities over the course of 5 weeks. Jump Blues, Swing Blues, Delta Blues, and just plain Blues, they captivated the audiences, and whether or not the audiences knew English, they knew and appreciated the rhythms, and the music.
The 13-track release produced by Mitch Woods on the Club 88/Vizztone label is upbeat, playful, and a true testament to Mitch Woods' and his band, the Rocket 88s' ability to connect with audiences. They are ambassadors if you will, proving that music has the ability to connect with people throughout the world, and leave a lasting impression. Congratulations to Mitch Woods and the Rocket 88s - Amadee Castenell, Cornell Williams, Adam Gabriel, and Larry Vann, who have done a stellar job at making the connection.
The release opens with a brief introduction in Turkish to Mitch Woods and his Rocket 88s followed by Mitch Woods yelling to the audience if they are ready to Boogie Woogie. When the audience yells back "yeah," he segues into the first track, a song he wrote entitled, Solid Gold Cadillac. From there the band slides into a Henry Glover and Fred Weismentel song, Down Boy Down that cooks the blues with sassy lyrics.
Mojo Mambo, another song written by Mitch Woods, takes the audience down to New Orleans and captures the Louisiana vibe. Next on the play list is the Mitch Woods Jump Blues song, Boogie Woogie Bar-B-Q, which captures Texas with all the trimmings - chicken fried steak, Lone Star Beer, and barbecue ribs, with some especially nice sax work by Amadee Castenell.
The band slows it down a bit with the Erin "Big Boy" Groves, Jr. song, I Got A New Car, which first captures the buyer's enthusiasm, and then the remorse. The lyrics, "Nothin' down and three years to pay, sounded like a pretty good deal the other day ... I got a new car ... I'm as broke as I can be, since I wrote on that dotted line, I haven't been able to sufficiently dine .." with wailing sax, nice piano work by Mitch Woods, complemented by Cornell Williams, Adam Gabriel, and Larry Vann.
What Can I Do, written by Roy Milton is pure Jump Blues at its best. Also nice are the Mitch Woods songs, Queen Bee, and Long, Lean & Lanky. Other great tracks on the release are the slow and sexy Eddie Boyd and Willie Dixon song, Third Degree where Cornell Williams contributes vocals as well as bass; Crawfishin' by Rene Leon; Rocket 88 written by Jackie Brenston; and In The Night/Lambaya Puf De (In The Night written by Roy Byrd, Lambaya Puf De written by Baris Manco.
The release closes with the rollicking track, House Of Blue Lights written by Don Raye and Freddie Slack. In addition to the CD, there is a DVD of the performances as well as the journey on the road discovering Turkey. As they say in Turkey, "Bastan basa Blues," the Blues is everywhere!
For information on upcoming Mitch Woods and the Rocket 88s performances, please visit the website: www.MitchWoods.com.
Websites where you can procure Mitch Woods - Blues Beyond Borders, Live in Istanbul are Amazon, CD Universe, and Best Buy.
Follow Luxury Experience on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/LuxuryExperience
© November 2012. Luxury Experience. www.LuxuryExperience.com All rights reserved.