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Levee Dwellers - 'Leveling Up' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/2e/84/50/levee-dwellers-leveling-up-52-1445625537.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     October 23, 2015    
 
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I've not had many Blues albums I've enjoyed this much for quite some time.

Formed by five Rotterdam-based musicians, Levee Dwellers are a Blues band who have based their music around the impressive voice of Daniëlla Eerhart. Starting out as a covers band, the quintet began writing their own songs and this, their debut album, features that mixture of material.

Kicking things off with Ann Peeble's track 'Beware', the first thing that strikes me is what a great voice Eerhart has. There is no trace of an accent (which I personally find a bit of a deal breaker) and the band bolster their sound with the use of a saxophone player, which brings to mind the music found in The Blues Brothers which I return to frequently when I don't want to Rock out.

James Hunter's 'Kick It Around' is delivered equally well and the choice of covers is inspiring – LD haven't gone for all the obvious choices (there's not a Robert Johnson song to be seen) and instead are picking tracks I distantly remember or have had no prior contact with. Junior Well's 'Hoodoo Man' is classic chill-out music and Willie Dixon's 'Built For Comfort' is sure to get you swinging. The band are only too happy to bring some contemporary Blues into their repertoire too, doing a sterling job of covering Matt Schofield's 'On My Way'.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Their own compositions are none too shabby either, as 'Boogie You Down' is not a million miles away from early ZZ Top in style. 'The Empress Of Big Willy's' is brilliant, with Eerhart delivering a vocal that reminds me of the material Beth Hart cut with Joe Bonamassa. Jeroen Heeselaars' saxophone work is a revelation and the rhythm section of Onno Röell and Ed Weeda lock everything down for Stefan Soares to noodle over on guitar.

The record is beautifully produced – the drums are crisp, the bass fat and warm, the saxophone raspy, the guitars bright and the vocals powerful and clear. Everything has its place and the album is a fabulous listen. It's very Blues-orientated so it you're simply looking to Rock, move along. However, if you want to chill to some first rate 12-bar workouts, I've not had many Blues albums I've enjoyed this much for quite some time.

James Gaden

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