Erja Lyytinen, Connor Selby Band, JFK

Excellent turn out for the official album launch of Finland’s very own guitar queen’s new album ‘Stolen Hearts’.
As ever at the Tuesday Blues Club we were treated to three excellent artists but there was not question that the crowd was there for Erja Lyytinen and she didn’t disappoint.

She is a superb guitarist, not just one of the best Finnish guitarists I’ve heard or one of the best lady guitarists but one of the best, period. She is also blessed with a rich singing voice and real melodic songwriting ability and the whole package is topped off with a wide smile and the sense that she really enjoys playing. Her speaking voice is very different, almost an octave higher but with her accent it comes over as endearing rather than weird.

As this was an album launch, most of the material was from the new album and some of the songs are simply dynamite. ‘Stolen Hearts’ is a belting number, starting out quietly and exploding into the heart of the song and ‘Rocking Chair’ rips off the stage will a real panache. Personally I think the new album is the best thing she has done and the numbers from that really came over perfectly live. ‘City Of Angels’ was superb while ‘Black Ocean’ has a strong funk to it and allowed her to stalk the stage with real authority. ‘Lovers Novels’ has some great slide and a great shuffle beat.
Real highlight for me though was her version of Koko Taylor’s ‘I’m A Woman’ which ripped out with real passion and punch.

Really no question that she is one artist that any music fan should see and in a venue like the 100 Club we were close enough to really experience the playing of an artist at her peak.

I have to say that I really enjoyed The Connor Selby Band as well. Very good Blues/rock played with no little talent and he has a great stage presence. The keyboards fill the sound out in the same way that Bob Fridzema does with King King and he is good enough to use the space that gives him.
One for the future methinks.

Picture by Anthony May