MULTI-INSTRUMENTALIST BLUES/ROOTS ARTIST AL LERMAN RELEASES 'SLOW BURN'
June 24, 2016
Al Lerman has worn many hats in his forty-plus years as a career musician. He leads the 2X Juno Award winning band Fathead, plays saxophone & harmonica in the Maple Blues Revue, and more. In addition to being a bandleader and sought-after sideman, Lerman is a master songwriter and tours regularly as a solo acoustic artist. On Slow Burn his third solo release, Lerman shines on harmonica and vocals while showcasing his song writing abilities and solid guitar work. Playing both amplified and acoustic harmonica on this outing, the warm, rich, woody tone of a seasoned pro is clearly evident.
Recorded and mastered at Grammy Award-winning engineer Peter J. Moore’s E-Room studio in Toronto, the sessions were produced by Alec Fraser, one of the most respected roots producers/musicians on the scene today. With a fresh batch of newly written songs Lerman gathered some of his favourite musicians, booked the studio time and recorded for two days. With guitar in hand, he sang live while being backed by two different rhythm sections; Alec on bass with drummer Al Cross, and Fathead’s Omar Tunnoch with Bucky Berger. (Tunnoch, who also paints, contributed the artwork that was used for the front cover). Lance Anderson added some piano on a handful of tracks to round things out. The result is a vibrant recording catching some seasoned hands doing what they do best.
This 12-song set features all original material, save for a first take, kick-ass reworking of the delta blues classic “Kokomo”. The disc opens with the rollicking “Don’t Push Your Mess On Me”, a gospel tinged rocker helped along by Jana Reid’s powerful backing vocal. “It Takes Me All Night Long” is Lerman’s tongue-in- cheek take on aging as he sings “….to do the things I used to do all night long”. The Latin-tinged standout track “Bad Luck Blues” grooves wonderfully as he recounts the events of an infamous bank robbery that happened long ago in the tiny village of Havelock, Ontario where he now makes his home. Another standout track is the radio-friendly and catchy “Gonna Have To Wait” while “Tattoo Like You” explores a swampy, voodoo feel along with a touch of humour, while the title track instrumental “Slow Burn” highlights Lerman’s guitar and harp, getting low down and dirty.
“He is unique”, says producer Alec Fraser. “Every song is a big idea. Lerman sounds like Lerman. This album is a real gem.”
RIYL: Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, Fathead, Morgan Davis, Keb' Mo’, Paul Butterfield
Slow Burn Track List
1. Don't Push Your Mess On Me
2. It Takes Me All Night Long
3. Bad Luck Blues
4. Gonna Have To Wait
5. Now That Your Man's Gone
6. Totally Out Of Whack
7. Younger Man Than Me
8. Any Way You Want
9. Tattoo Like You
10. Better Off Taking Chances
12. Slow Burn
May 19 - Ironwood, Calagary, AB*
May 20 - Yardbird Suite, Edmonton, AB*
May 21 - Yardbird Suite, Edmonton, AB*
May 22 - Dan/Lyn Studio House Concert, Sherwood Park, AB*
May 24 - Mikey's Juke Joint, Calgary, AB*
May 27 - Vernon Folk Club, Vernon, BC*
May 28 - Dream Cafe, Penticton, BC*
May 29 - Brother Rat Concert Series, Edgewood, BC*
* With Tim Williams
June 22 - Hugh's Room, Toronto CD Release Party