According to legend… one fated evening, sometime during the South’s great depression, a lone figure stood in the middle of a crossroad on the Mississippi highway. With a guitar case in one hand, and his soul in the other, a young Robert Johnson was ready to make a deal. Not long after the Devil blessed him with un-paralleled singing and guitar skills, the debt was called and Johnson joined the 27 club, giving rise to much mythology and legend. Now, I’m not saying that any of the fine young gents in His Masters Voice – The Devils Blues have made any deals at any crossroads lately, but it’s clear from their brand new EP, that the Devil is back with the Blues.
Recorded in Auckland’s Roundhead Studios, this 4 Track EP is a phenomenal showcase of the raw and powerful musicianship on tap in this band. This is not simply a blues record, nor can it be categorised any other way. It bathes in groove and swagger, whilst wallowing in despair and pain. Vocalist Jesse Sorensen echoes heartbreak and agony in moments, other times it’s his light hearted cheeky personality shining through. Although only 4 songs big, there is a lot of music held within this release. The EP is bookended by the complex and intricate “Burning” and “Woman”, Blending blistering blues riffs and passages, with progressive arrangements. While “Burning” starts the EP off by raising some hell, “Woman” softly puts it back to sleep as it closes the record out. Sandwiched between the epic journeys, are the punchier and more traditional tracks “Evil” and “What Do I look Like”. Straight to the point and fun as hell, these shorter songs are a perfect match for their epic counterparts.
The production of “Woman” is perfectly stripped back. You won’t find thickly layered guitars or piles of multi-tracked instrumentations here, rather, it’s a solid representation of a powerhouse performance by 4 incredible talented musicians. I’ve been lucky enough to witness the ferocious live beast that is His Masters Voice – The Devils Blues in the flesh many times and each time I’ve been floored. Whether it’s Az Burns shredding both tastefully and effortlessly, René Harvey laying down the heaviest grooves known to mankind, or Brandon Bott locking in to form part of New Zealand’s tightest rhythm section, the musicianship on display is exceptional. What His Masters Voice have accomplished is perfectly capture that live feeling. From ride cymbal count ins, naturally decaying guitar hangs, and all the beautiful human imperfections that come with tracking with such a minimalist approach, This EP sounds and feels like a polished live band faithfully recreating their live show in the studio. On top of having such a mighty rhythm section, the band has a true secret weapon in Singer / Guitarist Jesse Sorensen. It’s his heart and soul on show in this EP, and he flaunts his incredible vocal range at will. Which a backdrop of such outstanding playing, it would’ve been easy lose the vocals amongst the chaos and wailing in the bigger sections, instead the vocals soar higher and leads the band into the fray every time.
It’s a very simple verdict this record. His Masters Voice – The Devils Blues have captured exactly what makes them an amazing live band. Incredible guitar playing, powerful rhythms and unchained energy contrasted with complete restraint, so much is put on display musically in just 4 songs, and for those songs to then be capped off with powerful and melancholic vocals is a true feat indeed. While it is short, its function to leave listeners wanting more is absolutely accomplished. His Masters Voice – The Devils Blue will no doubt be busy touring off the back of this EP and hopefully in time, will be back with a full length LP to satiate their growing fan base. If this EP is anything to go by, we could have some exceptional blues on our shores for some time to come.
Coridian are ready to unveil their 2nd release Caldera this November. With the help of Zorran Mendonsa this packet of sound includes two released singles Blind Faith (2016) & Reflections (2017) as well as four new tracks that have been road tested on stage.
The Soundsplash Festival is returning to Raglan in January 2018. Local reggae favourites Katchafire are returning to feature on the bill. We sent a few questions over to lead vocalist Logan Bell ahead of the festival.
Following 2015’s Kitty, Daisy & Lewis'The Third', the sibling trio are back stronger than ever, harnessing their ability to create pop-infused soul, blues, rock n roll and a large mix of genres to perfection, in the shape of their fourth studio album, Superscope.
Kylie Price has just released her new album Bones. Last week she appeared on theNZ Entertainment Podcast, where she sang a new song I Dont Want To Go off the album while talking shop about her dream gig to play with Ed Sheeran and her Philipino roots.
Last week I caught up withPeter Hook ahead of returning down under for Australasian leg of the Joy Division and New Order Substance tour. We had a great chat about the spirit of punk, what it takes to write a book and why shows like the X-factor are so unhealthy…
Long established as one of New Zealand’s finest acts, South Pacific reggae-soul legends, The Black Seeds are set to tour the country in September, following the release of their long awaited 6th studio album Fabric, (out today - Friday September 8th).
Jacqueline Nalpant is a Booking Agent for the Paradigm Talent Agency, and is heading to New Zealand early next month where she'll be one of the speakers for the Going Global Music Summit (Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd September at Roundhead Studios, Auckland).
Since making her musical debut with her song Drift early last year, fast attracting a solid fan base and over 1 million plays across Spotify and Soundcloud in just a few months, Madeline North, better known by her musical moniker So Below, has once again blessed us with a moodier, masterful electro-pop banger, titled Ruin.
Since forming in 1998, the Antwerp, Belgium based trio Triggerfinger have long become a mainstay on the rock scene, building a solid reputation across Europe, the US, Canada and beyond, as one of the hardest-driving and sharpest dressing bands around.
Popular metalcore group Northlane are on their way to New Zealand. The Sydney band are touring North America taking in countries like Chile and Mexico as they head our way down-under next month to play Wellington’s San Fran then Auckland at the iconic Kings Arms.
Returning to New Zealand for the first time in three years, Australian metalcore band In Hearts Wake are on their way to our shores next month for a quick run of shows supporting their label cohorts Northlane.
Courtney Marie Andrews has landed in New Zealand, and set to play two concerts this week with Joe Pug - tonight at San Fran in Wellington (Wed July 19) and tomorrow night at The Tuning Fork in Auckland (Thu July 20).
Auckland two-piece Skinny Hobos, Alex Elvis and Texas Holdom, are heading on a 5 date New Zealand tour with headliners Decades, Bakers Eddy and Dead Favours. Kicking off tonight in Hamilton (July 14), the tour will also take them to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and finishes up in Dunedin.
Have you ever considered sharing your most personal experiences with the entire world? Well come this Friday 14th July, that’s what Emma Cameron, the rocking front-woman of kiwi band Decades is about to do, when they release their long-awaited full length debut album, The Truth And Other People, so we sat down with the cheerful front woman to discover just what truth this album reveals..
Whilst Sonny Landreth is a well known slide-guitar master, zydeco enthusiast and phenomenal blues legend, what you may not know about him, is that he is one of the nicest gentlemen in the entire universe.
He was always the boy next door type energy, that type of person you just always wanted to be around. From day one, Shay Taylor has always been one to break the mold and live life in such a vibrant and contagious manner, that no matter who he spoke to, they walked away feeling great!
Due to significant weekend rainfall, and the forecast of more rain over the next 72 hours, Coffs Harbour City Council, Frontier Touring, John Logan Entertainment and Midnight Oil management have met and reviewed the site for Midnight Oil’s show on Thursday 19 October.
After their 2012 Mercury Prize-nominated debut and 2015’s Top 20 follow-up Born Under Saturn, musical adventurers Django Django are back for 2017, exploring new sounds with their brand new album Marble Skies
After stunning, sold-out concerts across the US, legendary Led Zep drummer Bonzo's greatest legacy - his son Jason - brings his critically acclaimed concert, Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience, to New Zealand for just two performances.
Playing their breakthrough debut self-titled album in its entirety, pop rock sensations We The Kings will return to New Zealand and Australia to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of their breakthrough self-titled debut album.