The second album by the ‘Annee 2CU Blues Band’ from Auckland, New Zealand confirms my first impression that they are a rare breed of inspired musicians touched by the spirit of the blues who define themselves within each performance having the ability to nurture the essence of each song that they transpose into their own idiom.
This is a ‘live’ laid back blues/rock studio album with its own individual chemistry and creativity which reverberates at much more accessible level for the musicians and provides a true bonus for the listener too. All bands should take note of this as layering and multi tracking can produce impressive technical results but nothing can really compare to ‘live takes’ where musicians can feed off each others vibrations. I hope the band use this formula in future as the results speak for themselves. This unfettered recording format allows the band to breath new life into older songs as proven by the opening track “Daughter of Fortune” which really sets the scene for things to come as a ‘slow burner’ with haunting vocals and smouldering guitar sounds pushing the song into the higher echelons of reflective emotion, whilst also offering a somewhat different perspective to the original Deep Purple song. “Ghetto Child” almost picks up where “Daughter of Fortune” left off with the addition of some outstanding blues harp and exceptional guitar work too. There’s even a version of the traditional “Wayfaring Stranger” with the harmonica expressing the melody line. The band’s exemplified version and interpretation of the “The Thrill Is Gone” falls under the spell of Annee’s vocals as it floats off at a tangent as the song morphs into a hybrid of the original, which once again underscores the finely balanced musicality of this band.
As always with this musical ensemble its crowning glory is enshrined in the vocal chords of Annee ‘The Blues Siren of the Southern Hemisphere’ who must be commended for using her own natural voice avoiding the usual clichéd over gutteralised and accentuated intonations that very often inhibits ‘sound alike’ vocalists in this genre. There are some very excellent and inspired musical selections on this album but I’m convinced this band’s finest hour is still yet to come.
The Rock of Ages Radio Show