Here we are once again at Edinburgh’s Voodoo Rooms where the Edinburgh Blues Club are hosting another of their well-run and well-attended Blues nights with Erja Lyytinen – also referred to as the Finnish slide goddess by The Blues Magazine. The latest opus from Erja is the fabulous Elmore James Tribute Live in London CD, with DVD of the whole gig included and having watched it, I can tell you it is stunning. A number of the tracks aired here tonight.
This is Erja’s first appearance in the capital and hopefully not the last. Opener for tonight, “Slide Storm”, takes us nicely into a fantastic cover of the old classic “Spoonful” with more of a big nod to Koko Taylor as opposed to Willie Dixon. Lyytinen’s drummer Markku Reinikainen keeps up a steady beat in total rhythm with Erja. We head on through the south with “Mississipi Callin’ and then into “Awakening” before “Stolen Hearts”, inspired – she says – by Jimi Hendrix after Erja came across a picture of him in a music magazine in her younger days. Davide and Erja are in total harmony throughout and, next we take it down a notch with the fantastic blues ballad “You Make Me So Sad” allowing Erja to show off some fantastic hand work on her guitar.
The first from last year’s fabulous opus The Sky is Crying is “Hand in Hand” with Erja’s smooth vocals, a fabulous riff laden into slide guitar track that it is. We head into 2013’s Forbidden Fruit with the delightful “Change of Season” showing off Erja’s subtle vocals, just a fantastic track and a highlight of the night for me with just the right amount of subtle guitar between her and Davide. We head out over a delightful “Black Ocean” before we find “The Sky is Crying” title track with its wailing vocals and subtle slide guitar – tremendous track. A real stunner up next in the form of the instrumental “Erja’s Contribution to Jazz” again from The Sky is Crying. The guitar on this track is just amazing in the way it moves about tonally, truly a joy to watch and listen to.
Last but not least in the main set is “It Hurts Me Too” which opens with some stunning crunching slide guitar and ends the same fabulous way.
No guesses for the encore being a simply incredible version of “Dust my Broom” with guest appearance of the main man and guitar player extraordinaire from the stunning support band The Robbie Hill Band. The band all get a great hand in this track from Markku Reinikainen on drums with his steady rhythms keeping the beat going, the excellent Juha Verona on bass who was fantastic all night and Davide Floreno on guitar who was truly amazing tonight.
Last but obviously not least is the amazing Erja Lyytinen on guitar/vocals. This was a truly fabulous night and I would urge anyone who has not caught her live yet to do so and check out the fabulous Live in London CD/DVD – as well as the rest of her stunning back catalogue. You will not be disappointed.
- Slide Storm
- Mississippi Callin’
- Stolen Hearts
- You Made me so Sad
- Hand in Hand
- Change of Season
- Black Ocean
- The Sky is Crying
- Erja’s Contribution to jazz
- It Hurts me too
- Dust my Broom
Header photo by Gary Cooper – more pics coming soon.