February in Copenhagen is usually a very cold place to be. Fortunately, for one night, American blues artist Peach Reasoner rolled into town with the Almost Blues Band and set up in the Café Bartof, a very cool place with a great reputation for good music and good beer. Peach has played here many times before and you can tell throughout the live album she recorded here, A NIGHT IN COPENHAGEN, that she and the band feel right at home.
From the warm opening of recently named Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan’s beautiful ballad, Tonight I’ll Be Stayin Here With You, with its simple piano and harp lines (both provided by Ken Stange) backing Peach’s gorgeous vocals. It’s a bold choice for someone in a distant city giving herself over to the audience for the night. It announces her intentions and shows that she is very much in command of the evening.
The applause is warm and enthusiastic and you can tell that Peach is home – or at least in a welcoming place that feels very much like home.
She follows up with a piece of slice of barrelhouse with Never Make Your Move Too Soon. Again, Stange’s keys play a significant role in the song, and as he has worked with Peach before, that seems appropriate. Her guitar work (primarily lead) is very assured and sets off the piano very nicely.
Aside from Reasoner and Stange, her band for the album consists of Michael Engman Rønnow on guitar and backing vocals; Helge Solberg of bass and backing vocals’ and Niclas Campagnol on drums. I’m unsure as to how long this group has worked with Reasoner, but they sound like they have been together for some time. Their harmonies are tight and they obviously have fun playing.
Next up is the Mel London tune, Little By Little, and they give it a good ride. Peach is saucy with her delivery, a little tease and a lot of sass. It’s a fun song. Listen for her to blister the guitar break. She follows up with a rocking version of Love-Itis. It’s a good combination and gives the group an opportunity to let their hair down.
She follows up with a song that she wrote, Tell Me You Love Me. It’s a tender love song – one of the longest songs on the album. Reasoner pours her heart and soul into this track, her vocals echo past pain beautifully. She’s a good songwriter and I would be very interested in finding more that she has written.
I confess that I was not that familiar with her work prior to A Night In Copenhagen, but I have enjoyed this album very much. I’ll be searching her website, http://www.peachmusic.com/live/ looking for more information about her tours and seeing if I can find other albums. She’s a multitalented performer and I look forward to sharing her music with listeners of Time For The Blues.
She gets back to rocking with Come Up And See Me Sometime and the band has really hit their groove. By now she is fearless and the crowd is loving every minute of her show. She and Stange play off of each other nicely and her vocals take on that assertive tone that just makes a blues song smoke.
She takes command with the smoldering Same As I’m Over You. It’s a gorgeous late night smoky room number that a good blues fan will savor. Stange’s keys are delicious and it sounds like Campagnol has switched to brushes for part of the song, giving it that jazzy flavor and in your mind’s eye you can almost see Peach working the crowd while she sings. A great way to start to wind up the album.
Yes, there’s only one more song left, the rocking number, Ain’t Got No Money. While this song could easily open any show and get it off to a rousing start, Peach and company have decided to end with it, sending the audience off on a very high note.
There’s an old adage in show business to always leave your audience wanting more. Peach Reasoner and the Almost Blue Band certainly did that. This fast album (eight songs in 36 minutes) serves to whet our appetite for more. A Night In Copenhagen is one of those beautiful surprises that just about every blues fan will love receiving.