Mellow Jo & The Hi-Tones (Album review)

Posted by Angel On December - 25 - 20113,168 views

This one has taken some time due to my lack of discipline, my apologies for that, Hi-Tones. Of course i won’t mention the fact that RBO’s Headmistress has taken up quite a lot of my time to play on some of her Honeytones recordings…. Now for the album.

Mellow Jo & the Hi-Tones and that is the album that looks good on the front side, with a nice picture and goodlooking colors. Inside and on the back the same print featuring info on the band, what makes Marjos and her band tick. Also lists the guests playing and singing on their album and some booking info along with small logo’s of Hi-tone and Tombstone records. Nice one, good presentation for this rootsy 5 piece band! I have to say i like the way this package screamed for me to put the actual disc in my player! Now, for how it sounds.

Covers all around, except for one piece Rolf Hartogs wrote, or should i say composed, nice one!
The band have chosen to record tracks from ages long past, the selection showcases this band’s ability to swing. Very nice. To name a few tracks and artists then; ‘Losers blues’ (Big Sandy), this may be one of the most recently written tracks on the album. Loretta Lynn, Peggy Lee, Conway Twitty and Bing Crosby. Oh and a Led Zeppelin track?!!? I am serious and will get back on that one later. Guest players on the album are Annita Langereis for the extra vocals and Lee Jeffriess for lapsteel

‘Bouncin’ is the Rolf Hartogs original and a track without vocals. Not at all something to miss because this track sports nicely balanced lick trading between rhythm, lead and steel guitar. Just love it. I’m not going to discuss all tracks recorded but i do have to tell you something about Rock ‘n Roll, the Led Zeppelin cover. For all you greasers and gals unfamiliar with that track; It’s a very high energy British classic rock song of one of the biggest rockbands in the history of popular music. The high energy part the band have succeeded in, however Jo hasn’t, in my book and i’m talking vocal-wise. Still i think it’s a very brave attempt to try and twist into a totally different style of music. Other tracks feature the doublebassplayer and drummer on vocals which gives the listener nice variation. Those remarks may look like i’m not too crazy about Jo’s voice but i do want to say that this is a lady that has mastered the art of not overdoing things and that is one thing i like for sure!

In general this is a collection of tracks that are well thought through, every instrumentalist heard has that special sound that makes rootsmusic so enjoyable. For a great number of reasons i usually despise drummers, however this one is one that can hold his own using sticks or brushes, good, good job and quality tones there! Even though Marjos might hate my guts for my opinion on her singing on the Zep track, i do want to go and see ’em live in action. Very, very good band!
And find them on Facebook!

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