Review: Ian Siegal – One Night In Amsterdam

Posted on: Wednesday, Feb 25, 2015

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Ian Siegal – One Night In Amsterdam

(Nugene Records: NUG1501)

The prolific Ian Siegal, the award-winning British blues and roots performer, releases his second live album within a year – “One Night In Amsterdam” on 9th March – and whereas “Man & Guitar” was precisely that, capturing him in solo acoustic mode – the new release finds him on sparkling uptempo form with a superb young Dutch/German band at The North Sea Jazz Club, on 17th April last year.

The twelve tracks on offer revisit some previously recorded numbers that go back a good way, some songs by songwriting heroes of his and some new songs – he is in regal form aided and abetted by the brilliant Dusty Ciggar (lead & pedal steel guitar), Raphael Schwiddessen (drums) and Danny Van’t Hoff (bass), with guest vocalists on a couple of tracks, Tess Gaerthe and Joel Gaerthe, from the Dutch band Ashtraynutz.

The opening “I Am The Train” postively roars out of the blocks, and is a dip back to the “Candy Store Kid” album from 2012; he goes back further for a funky “Brandy Balloon” from his ‘breakthrough’ “Meat & Potatoes” album in 2005. The first song featured from one of his songwriting heroes is the tough rocking “Writing On The Wall”, penned by local Nottingham legend Harry Stephenson, whose work Siegal came to appreciate when he lived in the city.

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One of my favourite tracks from “Candy Store Kid” gets an airing here, the gorgeous “Early Grace” . . . referred to on the recent duo tour by Jimbo Mathus, as the “California song” . . . and it is beautifully delivered here by Siegal and band; best of all though is a third recorded version of Tom Russell’s masterpiece “Gallo Del Cielo”, where Dusty Ciggar shows he is a guitar hero in-waiting with a couple of quite stunning solos . . . who knew a song about cockfighting could be so enthralling!

Elsewhere he and the band go right back to 2002 for “Queen Of The Junior Prom” from his 2002 debut “Standing In The Morning”, before a superb coupling of songs to end this fine release – the classic, much covered “Love Hurts” and the marvellous country gospel-flavoured Rudy Lentze song “Please Don’t Fail Me”, with some lovely slide guitar – both with the backing vocals of Tess and Joel Gaerthe.

Ian Siegal is right at the top of his game now, and a UK tour kicks off in our backyard of The Live Rooms in Chester on 17th March, with twelve dates in total – needless to say the live shows and album come highly recommended for lovers of quality blues and roots music.

GRAHAME RHODES

www.iansiegal.com

www.nugenerecords.com

(Pictures by Will Ireland)

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