Thursday, May 30, 2024

More Pics and a Review from Scotland

Here are a few pics from the concert with Dave Arcari at the Harbour Arts Centre in Irvine, Scotland, all by Alistair Mulhearn. In his review of the show, Ross Muir of Fabrications HQ writes: 

"When first hearing or watching the impressive slide and picking talents of Andres Roots, who resides in the Estonian city of Tartu (cultural capital of Europe this year, no less), you could be forgiven for thinking your ears or eyes deceive you, given it sounds like either there are two musicians/ guitars involved, or he has six fingers on each hand (there isn’t, and he hasn’t, respectively).

And that’s because, as with guitar luminaries such as Martin Taylor, Andres Roots is an exceptional multi-parts guitarist; thumbing a bass line and picking out a rhythm while delivering a melody, highly individualistic phrasing or some nifty slide work, the latter sometimes incorporating two slides (a full finger slide and a ring slide). Yeah; he’s a bit good.

You could also be forgiven for thinking many of his compositions are direct lifts from traditional American folk & Delta blues, such is their stylistic authenticity. A prime example was delightful country & western/ folk blues piece 'Starbuck Theme,' written in 2022 for the Estonian play The Rainmaker, adapted from the 1950s American original (and made into a movie starring Burt Lancaster & Katharine Hepburn).

Like Dave Arcari, Andres Roots likes to tell stories about some of the songs (the story about the play for example), or regale the audience with a few anecdotes (being interviewed at home, by a man with a video camera, who was perched on a ladder outside his house, during the Covid lockdown, was one such couldn’t-make-it-up tale).

But such commentaries were incidental highlights compared to the performances, not all of which were based on the American roots blues sound. Indeed Andres Roots’ influences go much further and wider, as heard with 'Django,' a piece that, as the title suggests, honours the spirit and style of the great Django Reinhart. 

Then there’s the flamenco blues of 'Spanish Run,' the deftly played slide interpretation of Hendrix’s 'The Wind Cries Mary,' and the fast-fingered dexterity of 'The Sheik of Hawaii,' which blends middle eastern and pacific island musicality. Each as intricate in compositional craft as the performance skill required to play them.

But blues (alt orientated or otherwise) is an integral part of the Andres Roots repertoire, heard to fine effect on compositions such as the whimsical '4am Hot Dog,' the delightful 'Springtime Blues' and, a throwback to those original Delta days, 'Legacy Blues.'"

Read the whole thing HERE!

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