Tuesday, May 8, 2018


Kaeshammer's a monster piano player and fantastic vocalist, this we know, and a fine writer too. He still has more surprises for us though, and this album presents him in a whole new light. It's a big production, and big sound, featuring lots more instruments, guest players and a new range of material, thanks to a recording trip to New Orleans. That location makes perfect sense for Kaeshammer, a man fully at home in blues and jazz, has all the boogie needed for the Crescent City, and the grooves too. He puts it all to use in this great set, full of fun and invention.

The album features a combo of New Orleans legends and Canadian all-stars, including The Meters' famed bassist George Porter Jr., guest singer Cyril Neville, drummer Johnny Vidacovich from Professor Longhair's band, alongside Canuck stand-up bass champ David Piltch, cellist Kevin Fox, and gunslingers Amos Garrett and Colin James. Add to that list Curtis Salgado and Rolling Stones/Allman Bros. keyboardist Chuck Leavall, and you get the picture, this is prime stuff. It would all be for nothing though, if the songs weren't there, and Kaeshammer bravely brought mostly his own material. Boy, does it meet and surpass expectations. He sounds like he was born and bred in New Orleans, with rollicking tunes such as Dixie Has The Blues, a rhythmic knock-out, the extremely soulful ballad Heaven and Earth, with that Neville lead vocal, and the smokey jazz of Forbidden Love, film noir from the darker quarters of the city.

Kaeshammer's discs are usually chances to hear his fantastic piano skills, and there are certainly lots of examples here, including the lone cover, a radical instrumental interpretation of Sweet Georgia Brown, where he riffs to our heart's content. But there's so much more to this album, including all the excellent new songs, the awesome players and total great vibe, it's definitely a career milestone.

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