Julian Fauth – Everybody Ought To Treat A Stranger Right
For his third album for the label, talented Canadian blues and boogie woogie pianist goes a little off-kilter by introducing funk, jazz, violins, harmonicas, horns, backing vocals and plenty more besides to produce a much more broad-based album than previously, and it works.
This album has 17 songs and each bears little relation to the one that's gone before. While his inspired piano playing is prominent throughout, the musical landscape in which it appears is constantly changing, from a funked-up version of Blind Willie Johnson's title track, a R&B piano work out on Mean Old Train that could be James Booker or Mose Allison, a celtic folk waltz on The End Of The Day, or a slice of American folk on Angeliqueto. He even gets his guitar out a plays a brooding John Lee Hooker/Lightnin' Hopkins style back porch blues song. Don't be fooled by his false modesty ('I haven't touched the guitar much in the last few years, but incompetence has never stopped me before') his playing gifts are prodigious.
A long and eclectic album that those who need their music pigeon-holed before deciding if they are likely to enjoy it may struggle with. If you however just like music played with vim, skill and passion, this features all this in abundance.
1. Window Pane Blues - 4:37 2. Everybody Ought to Treat a Stranger Right - 5:15 3. I Hope My Pony Knows the Way Back Home - 5:15 4. Requiem - 3:41 5. Dimpled Nose - 3:40 6. Eyesight to the Blind - 4:48 7. Let it Heal - 5:12 8. If Your Mind - 3:33 9. Little Soldier - 3:28 10. Riff Raff - 5:01 11. Angelique - 5:24 12. Mean Old Train - 5:55 13. Decisions - 5:18 14. Roll and Tumble - 5:20 15. So Friggin' Happy - 4:13 16. Toothless, Bald and on Your Own - 4:06 17. The End of the Day - 2:56
Julian Fauth (vocals, guitar, piano, foot) , Jay Danley (guitar, back up vocals, mandolin) , Terra Hazeleton (back up vocals) , Alec Fraser (back up vocals) , Shawn Nykwist (tenor saxophone) , Tim Hamel (trumpet) , Paul Brennan (drums) , James Thomson (bass) , Donné Roberts (guitar) , Ken Yashioka (harmonica) , Bob Vespaziani (drums) , Drew Jurecka (violin)
1. Eric Thom
Life is a series of puzzle pieces. How they come to fit together is often a matter of chance. That a young boy would become infatuated upon hearing a rag-tag collection of pre-war blues musicians from a discarded record brought home by his father is curious enough. That the gift of inheritance – his aunt’s piano – would transform that fascination into a lifelong gift is beyond fate. The boy is now a man and his absolute devotion to the blues is all-encompassing. You can hear it in his impassioned vocals, in his reverent songwriting and with each rhythmic roll of his fingers. From haunting originals to reinterpreted covers, Julian Fauth is the embodiment of the musicians he grew up with, those who pointed the way. With a sound so entrancing, he’s surpassed his role as medium, having taken their mantle to forge a monumental contribution of his own. Driven by his heart, fuelled by his muse, Julian Fauth is a willing prisoner of his blues. Yet his musical story – and the way in which he tells it – is completely, authentically his own. Like his cherished musical heroes, he lives to open the blues up into fresh territory. On EVERYBODY OUGHT TO TREAT A STRANGER RIGHT (his 3rd release for this adventurous label).... he does exactly that.
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