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Exceptional in all regards and a testament to an underlying commitment to not only the blues, but also to their passion there of, is the best way to describe Bullfrog Brown's newest release "Moon and Central".
With the addition of Peter Piik on Bass, Bullfrog Brown has continued to grow into one of the finest and truest Blues Bands in the world, calling on what seems to be an inherit ability to show their love for the blues in a fashion that can only increase your love of the blues.
Bullfrog Brown's "Moon and Central", continues to show what commitment and passion can accomplish and offers us yet another fine example of blues played the way it was meant to be played, that being in a simple and clear manner, respectful of it's form and past.
A few years back I dubbed this band, “The new voice and sound of the old blues.” and through out their subsequent new releases, they have only managed to make that statement even more true.
Please do yourself a favor by buying this album, listening to it, and thoroughly enjoying it.
Review by John Vermilyea (Blues Underground Network)
Other Info & Reviews
The prolific Estonian blues band, and recent visitors to our shores, have recently released their third album in the last twelve months or so – “Moon and Central” – named after an area in an old part of Tartu, Estonia. As ever the band are led by the guitar work of Andres Roots and the throaty vocals and harmonica of Alar Kriisa, with Peter Piik on bass. “Moon and Central” was originally destined to be an EP, but as the songs kept coming, it became an album!
The 10 tracks on offer see them deliver a rootsy blend of folky blues – mainly acoustic-based but with some electric touches, as evident on the opening “Hurtin’ Street” – with Andres Roots nice finger picked opening giving way to some tough electric slide work. The following “Leave You Sleepin’” is again slide-driven, with vocalist Alar Kriisa also on harmonica. The pace is taken down for the old song “Road” – written in 2000-2001 when the band were three-quarters of Green Bullfrog.
“Shadows” has a nice old-time stompy, rootsy feel – again with Andres Roots slide work impressing and trademark gritty vocal from Kriisa; “Scent Of A Woman” has a jug-band flavour, with Kriisa on harmonica again. “Paint Your Shadow On The Wall” has been resurrected from a longer mid-1990s piece and has a laid back lazy feel to it which is most appealing.
The raucous “Years Past Midnight” is another uptempo blues – a tribute to the band’s friend, Dave Arcari and the band he was in, The Radiotones – indeed it is very reminiscent of the Scotsman's ‘punk blues’ – with down home guitar from Andres Roots. The album closer sees a live version of the previously recorded “Blues For Breakfast” – with sweet harmonica from British player Steve Lury, who featured throughout the previous Bullfrog Brown release – aptly named “Bullfrog Brown with Steve Lury”. This stretched-out take sees some sparring between Roots electric slide and the harmonica.
Apart from the three band members and Lury other guests are L.R. Phoenix (backing vocals), Nikolaj Anderson (5-string violin) and Peeter Jogioja (percussion). Another highly recommended slice of ‘Blues from the Baltic’ and all very nice indeed!
Graham Rhodes (bluesinthenorthwest.com)
1) Hurtin' Street (w/ L.R. Phoenix)
Listen To Some Of Their Music Here
"Any purist should be able to appreciate the fantastic guitar playing
of the great Andres Roots. Andres plays with a soul that feels to be as
old as the music he's playing, behind a rhythm section that reminds me
of Tom Waits' "Bone Machine" at times," wrote Blues In London critic
Eric Gebhardt in 2006.
Bullfrog Brown 2009 - Andres Roots, Peeter Piik, and Alar Kriisa
"Alar Kriisa, any punk rock blues kid should be able to appreciate his gruff vocals. He sounds like Leon Redbone piss drunk and fronting an Alice Cooper cover band and this is a good thing, a very good thing. The lyrics ramble shamelessly like Dylan, but latter-day Dylan, "Love and Theft" Dylan, which, again, is a good thing, a very good thing," writes Blues In London critic Eric Gebhardt. "Any purist should be able to appreciate the fantastic guitar playing of the great Andres Roots. Andres plays with a soul that feels to be as old as the music he's playing, behind a rhythm section that reminds me of Tom Waits' "Bone Machine" at times." Combining contemporary, dylanesque lyrics with funky, slide-driven Delta Blues themes and a Jim Morrison-meets-Tom Waits delivery, vocalist Alar Kriisa and guitarist Andres Roots have ensured steady rotation for their songs on blues radio shows on four continents since 2005, while their busy live schedule has taken the little band from Tartu, Estonia to festivals and clubs in Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, France and the UK.
Originally founded as a trio with harpist Ullar Kart from the ashes of the award-winning blues-rock outfit Green Bullfrog Kriisa and Roots led before 2003, Bullfrog Brown became a duo in 2008, with veteran British harpist Steve Lury guesting occasionally. Recorded in 2008 and released this February, “Bullfrog Brown with Steve Lury” marked a reunion with Green Bullfrog bassist Peeter Piik - having contributed bass and mandolin to several Bullfrog Brown recordings over the years, Piik officially joined the band in April 2009, with a CD by the current trio slated for release this August. The Lury CD entered the French Blues Radio Association's monthly charts at #9 in June.
In 2006, Bullfrog’s “Uncooked” EP was nominated for the “Deed of the Year” award in the group's hometown and a track from the CD included as the only post-1971 and non-American recording in the “History of Slide Guitar” programme on Radio Melibokus in Germany. In 2007, Bullfrog Brown became the highest ranking blues band in ubl.com's Ultimate Band Competition, placing 6th in a 2-year race with thousands of international pop, rock, and hip-hop acts – a mere fortnight before picking up the first prize from the Blindman’s Blues Forum showcase.
Described as “huge stage presence and a superb band” by British radio DJ Dave Raven, Bullfrog Brown’s live performances have been broadcast on national television in Estonia and in Lithuania, most recently as surprise guests on the Estonian Eurovision finals programme. The promotional video for “Build Me A Statue”, shot in Greenwich, London by Andy Wicks, has even popped up on MTV Estonia.
As critics alternate between “more real than the real thing” (René Malines, “Virus de Blues”) and “all of this punk rock blues experimentation has finally been perfected” (Eric Gebhardt, “Blues In London”), Bullfrog Brown feel equally at home backing Mississippi blues legends such as Honeyboy Edwards and rubbing shoulders with the likes of Sweden’s Deltahead at alt.blues events. With their 2008 duo EP “Mother River Delta” declared Best European Release by Canada’s Blues Underground Network, Bullfrog Brown stand as the best-known Estonian act on the blues scene.
Festivals played include: