Andres Roots hails out of Estonia and may
be best known for his superb collaboration with Alar Kriisa, as Bullfrog
Brown, a two member band that often had great guest artists join them on
their releases. The band, Bullfrog Brown, was chosen Best European Release
for "Mother River Delta" in my 2008 Year End Review, and number 1 on my Top
25 Albums 2009 List for their release "Moon and Central", which also
garnered, Best European Blues Album and Best Original Cover Art, in my 2009
Year End Review. In November 17th, 2010, former Bullfrog Brown guitarist
Andres Roots released his first solo album "Roundabout", which also garnered
rave reviews. I also picked it as Best European Blues Album in my 2010 Year
End Review and placed it number 4 on my Top 25 Albums 2010 List. Now calling
himself and band mates Andres Roots Roundabout, Andres has released his 2nd
album, since departing from Bullfrog Brown, called "Leigh's Spider Jam".
"Leigh's Spider Jam" consists of 9 Tracks, 2 of which are Live Tracks of an
earlier televised 2010 jam and 7 Tracks that were recorded at White Room in
Tartu, Estonia in 2011. All the songs on "Leigh's Spider Jam" were written
by Andres Roots.
The performers "Leigh's Spider Jam" included Andres Roots (Acoustic,
Resophonic, and Electric Guitar) Martin Eessalu (Electric Guitars & 6-String
Banjo), Indrek Tiisel (Harmonica), Raul Terep (Drums) Leighton "L.R."
Phoenix (Vocals), Ahti Bachblum (Piano & Organ), Bert Deivert (Mandolin),
Hanno Maadra & Asko-Romé Altsoo (Orchestration). "Leigh's Spider Jam" was
produced by Asko-Romé Altsoo & Andres Roots, and once again the fabulous
Siret Roots, (Andres wife), did the Cover design. The majority of the band
members hailed from Estonia, except for L.R. Phoenix (UK/Finland) and Bert
Of the 9 Tracks on "Leigh's Spider Jam", 5 are marvelously done
instrumentals. The 9 Tracks are also interwoven with Tracks 1,3,5,7, & 9
being instrumental the remaining 4 non-instrumental Tracks being 2,4,6, & 8.
This interweaving of Tracks certainly does the job of truly making this
album feel like a great Jam.
For my favorite 3 Tracks on "Leigh's Spider Jam", I choose Track 2 "Mean Old
Town No.2", Track 4 "Comin' Home", and Track 7 "Horse Feathers". Track 2 & 4
I felt best showed off the great Vocals of L.R. Phoenix and awesome
Harmonica work by Indrek Tiisel. Track 4 was a little slower and in addition
to L.R.'s Vocals we also get the great Guitar work of Andres Roots. Track 7
was my Favorite instrumental on "Leigh's Spider Jam" and really showed off
Andres Roots at his Guitar picking best, this time on Dobro as well as
Martin Eessalu on a 6 String Banjo.
One thing you are going to get when Andres Roots is involved, is
consistently great blues music, of the kind you would only have expected
from seasoned Down South North American Blues Artists to have achieved, but
really, throughout all the Albums of his, whether with Bullfrog Brown or
not, he has never failed to amaze me concerning his ability to create Blues
music that is absolutely authentic. The release of "Leigh's Spider Jam",
shows not only his mastery of authentic Blues, but also his mastery of
assembling many extraordinary artists to take along on his Blues journey.
It has always been an absolute pleasure to receive and listen to the many
great releases featuring Andres Roots over the years and "Leigh's Spider
Jam" simply adds that much more. I have not yet come across a production of
his that was not worthy of my Highest Rating of 5***** and "Leigh's Spider
Jam" is certainly not going to break that tradition either.
Highly Recommended and Thoroughly Enjoyed... ~Review by John Vermilyea
(Blues Underground Network)