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Dallas Frasca - 'Sound Painter' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/7f/a2/d7/Dallas-Frasca-Sound-Painter-60-1373847058.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     July 15, 2013    
 
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If you want to hear blues that's still relevant for the 21st century then you should search out this nicely packaged disc.

Her name may be unfamiliar to you, but that should be rectified immediately. The flame haired Australian is a real talent. Her second full album captures the essence of her performance, recorded live in the studio in New York. She's backed by only guitar and drums that create a storm of raw bluesy rock which leads to inevitable White Stripes comparisons but Frasca's voice has more soul and fire as well as being much better technically than Jack White. It's her voice that leaps out from the first line, the stripped back band and pitch perfect production using old vintage equipment means Dallas's voice is front and centre, and what a huge belter of a voice it is. Take a mix of Beth Hart, KT Tunstall, the recent bluesier direction of Sandi Thom and even a touch of Joss Stone and you're someway to imagining how she sounds. There's an earthiness to her voice and the music that Australian bands often have. While the songs are radio friendly they never compromise their rootsy approach.

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At first, the backing can seem primitive but there's a lot of skill to what drummer Sam Lukeis and guitarist Jim Curran do. Curran, in particular, does a good job of using simple riffs, and recurring motifs to create melody and he can fire off incendiary old school solos when required, too. It's a record that's likeable on first listen but becomes more and more lovable with every spin as the melodies sink their hooks in deeper. 'All My Love' is a prime example as its insistent hook makes this a contender for a radio hit (if radio had any sense). Frasca can do feisty as she does on 'One Man Woman', hard-rocking soul diva on 'Better Without You', turn her hand to modern rock on 'Birds Of Wisdom' and bad-ass funky like Bette Davis on 'Going Back Row'. 'Hey Mama' has the simplest of hooks with the oft-repeated "Hey mama, yeah" line but it works a treat as the stomping rhythm and guitar riffs rattle your bones. On 'Freedom' she combines a Nenah Cherry delivery on the verse which turns into a Gospel chorus, underpinned by some down home delta-blues slide guitar before she groans over the track like Robert Plant in his prime. The band even throw in a ballad 'Ain't No Fury' which has a bleached-earth country lick and a melody that could be a distant relation to something the Foo Fighters might write.

The record is as accessible to a Radio 2 listener as it is to a mainstream-adverse punk and if you want to hear blues that's still relevant for the 21st century then you should search out this nicely packaged disc. Apparently, Slash is cited as being a fan, and if you've any taste you should be too.

Duncan Jamieson

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