Review: Layla Zoe – Live At Spirit Of 66

Posted on: Wednesday, Jun 3, 2015

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Review for LAYLA ZOE – CD – ‘Live At Spirit Of 66’ – 2015 CCR 0311-46

Putting out a ‘live’ album is a popular thing to do, but it is also a good way to experience an artist as a ‘what you see is what you get’. Layla Zoe has put together this double album of powerful rock blues, ‘Live At Spirit Of 66′, recorded live in Verviers, Belgium and gives a great overview to what her music is all about.

Often known as “Canada’s Darling of the Blues’, she has been compared to Janis Joplin. Layla has one of the most amazing voices which is put to good use on these albums. She is ably supported on the albums by Jan Laacks on guitar and backing vocals, Gregor Sonnennberg on bass and backing vocals and Hardy Fischotter on drums.

Much of the album leans towards classic rock, interspersed with blues and Americana. Tracks have been taken from previous albums, with a few covers.

On Disc One, the first four tracks are on the rock path. ‘I’ve Been Down’ is a heavy power rock blues, with ‘Pull Yourself Together’ , ‘I Choose You’ and ‘Green Eyed Lover’ hitting classic rock. Slowing the pace down, ‘Gemini Heart’, a slow blues, which has a great sound.

The final two tracks on this disc are ‘In Her Mother’s House’ which has an Americana feel and ‘They Lie’, a slow rock with a message and an epic number.

Again, on Disc Two, we have blues, rock and a touch of Gospel. ‘The Lily’ is a slow Americana number and is the title track of her acclaimed 2013 album. ‘Why You So Afraid’, in the realms of heavy rock, gets ‘down and dirty’. Changing the style ‘Never Met A Man Like You’ has a Stevie Ray Vaughan feel, excellent. A great take of the James Brown classic ‘It’s A Man’s, Man’s World’ next, which was brilliantly sung. The penultimate track ‘Yer Blues’, gives us another heavy rock blues, with the final number , a vocals only gospel take of the Beatles classic ‘Let It Be’, with Layla on excellent solo vocals.

The albums were an easy listen and if you like the rocky raw sound, you will enjoy them. Layla has a cracking stage performance, so hearing a live take of her music gives you a flavour, but one would actually need to see her live to get the whole picture.

Rosy Greer – Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer

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