Review: Erja Lyytinen – Live In London

Posted on: Monday, Jun 1, 2015

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Erja Lyytinen – Live In London (CD/DVD)

(Tuohi Records: THC-002)

Here’s an absolute must for all fans of the Finnish slide ace, Erja Lyytinen – a CD/DVD set recorded at the famous 100 Club in London last October. Erja and her crack band are on top form on the 11-track collection, with due reverence paid to her blues idol, Elmore James and also featuring some of her original compositions.

The band – Davide Floreno (guitar & backing vocals), Roger Innis (bass & backing vocals) and Miri Miettinen (drums & backing vocals) – provide super-tight backing to the lady herself, formed by some three years on the road. Several cuts from the 2014 studio album, “The Sky Is Crying” – her tribute to afore-mentioned slide legend Elmore James – are given the live treatment here.

The opening number is somewhat of a treat a brief a capella take on Mississippi Fred McDowell’s earthy “It’s A Blessing”; which is followed by the rollicking and funky orginal song, “Let It Shine”, before a first drop into the Elmore James songbook for the rousing “Person To Person”. It is followed by James’s “Hand In Hand”, with a lovely laid back groove and fine work by Messrs Floreno, Innis and Miettinen . . . complete with lovely tasteful slide guitar from Erja Lyytinen, and her lovely, warm voice.

The lengthy “Change Of Season” takes the pace down, before the driving shuffle of “Everything’s Fine” lifts it again, with the rock steady rhythm section of Roger Innis and Miri Miettinen pushing things along. The guitars of Lyytinen and Floreno spar on the summery “Hold On Together”, with it’s funky groove almost taking it into jazzy territory.

This enjoyable release ends with three lengthy Elmore James work-outs that allow Erja Lyytinen to exhibit her full slide virtuoso – probably the three best known James numbers, namely “The Sky Is Crying”, “It Hurts Me Too” and a 14-minute “Dust My Broom. All slide guitar blues fans should check this out, and don’t forget you get both the sounds and the images in this package!

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GRAHAME RHODES

www.erjalyytinen.com

Photo Credit: © Tina Korhonen

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