Fire On The Floor
(Provogue Records/Mascot Label Group)
Blues and soul singer finds herself now after a life of ups and downs as an in-demand entertainer with fans eager to hear her latest recordings and buy tickets for her live shows. With or without her great mainstay guitar pal Joe Bonamassa her studio work has a fire and sensitivity gifted to her by experience and inspiration. Few who were present at her Hampton Court Palace show with Joe and a red hot band will ever forget a moment of it.
The names featured on thus set of recordings are true legends – Michael Landau and Waddy Wachtel on guitars, Brian Allen on bass, the wonderful Rick Marotta on drums (check his work with Deodato axe dervish John Tropea) and Jim Cox on piano plus Dean Parks on acoustic guitar and Ivan Neville on keys. It is said that sixteen cuts were attained in three days, in Los Angeles. Hart favours the title track Fire On The Floor as one she is itching to perform live. Many US and European dates are scheduled.
Opening track Jazz Man is a nightclub style tread with sparkling piano, could be straight out of a Chicago musical and already Beth is showing edge leavened with playfulness. Love Gangster sets a yearning vocal to tremoloed guitar and flowing Hammond. Coca Cola has a great mellow blues vibe and feline singing, reminiscent of the late Eartha Kitt, I kid you not.
Let’s Get Together has a crisp funk setting and clipped lyric delivery, Hart handles this just as well as the slinky stuff earlier. The drama is upped for the Simone-like Love Is A Lie, the band stepping through the changes and a Wachtel fuzztone snaking through. A star inclusion on this record, depth and soul and enough dirt to make it authentic. Fat Man gives us a bluesy guitar chug in stereo and is surely a set-starter?
Fire On The Floor is a devastated landscape of a song, you can sense the smoke coiling up from the composition and Hart is in her element. The melody has French movie tinge which suits it and emphasises its impact ; Woman You’ve Been Dreaming Of uses dreamy piano to make its point and Beth eases back on the intensity to sound more reflective. Minimal backing makes this doubly effective as a song and with this crew it’s what we would expect, I guess
Baby Shot Me Down goes for the percussive Latin-infused tempo and again the ghost of Eartha Kitt is in evidence. Whether Beth knows of her I cannot say and would love to ask her. A very live sound captured here. A Good Day To Cry is a laidback Southern Soul flavoured piece which Hart purrs out with elan. Picture In A Frame is almost like Beth Nielsen Chapman and a lovely song indeed.
No Place Like Home shuts up the shop and has a pastoral ambience, the closest our chanteuse will get to Randy Newman
A very listenable set which could have used one or two more rockers for balance but to hear this voice framed by these musicians is a treat
(Many thanks to Lee Puddefoot for help with this review)
Beth Hart’s new album ‘Fire On The Floor’ is out now on Provogue Records/Mascot Label Group. For more information visit her website here: http://www.bethhart.com/
In addition, Beth Hart and her band will be touring the UK in November 2016. Tour dates below:
Friday 11th November 2016 – Symphony Hall, Birmingham, United Kingdom http://bit.ly/2al3SFu
Sunday 13th November 2016 – Sage One, Gateshead, United Kingdom http://bit.ly/2a3RVJk
Monday 14th November 2016 – O2 Academy Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom http://bit.ly/2e9wRR1
Thursday 17th November 2016 – Colston Hall, Bristol, Untied Kingdom http://bit.ly/29StdKT
Saturday 19th November 2016 – Solent Hall, Bournemouth International Centre (BIC), Bournemouth, United Kingdom http://bit.ly/2ecFERn
Monday 21st November 2016 – Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, United Kingdom http://bit.ly/2a1mKN5
Wednesday 23rd November 2016 – Royal Festival Hall, London, United Kingdom (SOLD OUT)