Review: Tangled Eye – Dream Wall

Posted on: Saturday, May 3, 2014

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Tangled Eye – Dream Wall

(Black & Tan: B&T 039)

Holland’s Black & Tan label has released some of the more innovative and challenging blues sounds of the last few years – and releases that divide blues lovers. Label boss (and guitarist) Jan Mittendorp has moved from the strongly traditional approach of some of his early albums to far more adventurous recordings.

This release is most definitely in the latter camp, with even the group name now associated with contemporary remixes (but don’t confuse this European outfit with the New Orleans based remixers of Alan Lomax field recordings). Tangled Eye is a trio, with, besides Jan, Jasper Mortier on drums and bass, and the now Europe-based singer and violinist Dede Priest.

The latter, originally from Dallas, Texas, has a fine, sassy tone to her vocals which are certainly suited to this group’s music, punctuated as it is with unexpected fills from guitar and violin over undeniably modern rhythms but with a discernibly traditional base. Contemporary blues with attitude this may be, but it does retain a strong sense of the music’s roots – if you don’t believe me, listen to ‘Fish And Lamb’.

NORMAN DARWEN

www.black-and-tan.com

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