The Spiritual Bar in Camden, London has always been a great place to discover new talent. Their owners are happy to allow upcoming artists to perform on their stage. They then decided to set up an independent label called Spiritual Records and with it have supported musicians in getting their work out into the world. They have also released three live albums featuring recordings from their venue.
Their newest live album Spiritual Records Live No 3 continues the trend of featuring amazing musical talents. Kicking things off is Joe Corbin with his track “Butchers Blues”. Straight away, the use of the harmonica during the intro is captivating. It sets up an old-school meets modern-day bluesy mood. Adding to the mix comes his vocals and guitar style that adds an irresistible swagger. It is the perfect way to start off this new collection of songs, especially with the spotlight-stealing performance of Rafael Pesce with his harmonica.
Bringing a different tone to the album comes Jack Francis with “How Long ’til I See the Sun?”. He slows the mood down with his delicate vocals that ooze an honest emotion. His tone flows effortlessly with an impressive range. It is highlighted further when he delivers the lines “Cause I know that you’re wired / And each day to pass feels the same / God knows I’m getting tired of those who seek fortune and fame / Somebody tell them that they all look the same to me”.
Bringing back the blues with a bang comes Robert J Hunter and his energetic track “Loving Unfortunately”. Its intro ensures he has the audience in the palm of his hands. His guitar and vocal style oozes an infectious groove that’s impossible to stay still to while listening. Here is an artist who puts 110% into his performance and in doing so, creates an unforgettable moment for this album.
There is something special about the storytelling style by George Frakes with his offering “Turn of the Hand”. He sets the mood with his mesmerising fingerpicking style on his guitar. It creates a captivating atmosphere for Frakes to showcase his lyrical talents. He shares his tale in a gentle manner which allows the listener to focus on the story which he shares. There is an old soul to his performance, but its charm is hard to resist.
With a guitar-driven intro, William Poyer sets the mood for his story called “Sign it From Me”. He then grabs the listeners attention further with his storytelling quality. The detail of his lyrics expressed with a captivating emotion showcases why his live shows have been receiving such praise. However, his six-string friend is as integral to his music as his voice. As the song progresses, it gets the opportunity to steal the spotlight.
Following up is a sublime vocal display from Simeon Hammond Dallas with her track “August (A Clever Man)”. Together with her guitar, they create another standout moment from the album. Her voice has an impressive range which features an effortless switch from delicate to power within her tone. It is all used to show off her excellent lyrical abilities.
Dan Ferguson takes to the stage to share “Mixed Up”. From the get-go, he delivers a cool groove with his guitar. Together with vocals, they create a soulful and bluesy mood. Throughout the song, it is difficult not to notice the perfect balance between the story and its soundtrack. However, there is a moment when his guitar is set loose to create an excellent instrumental moment.
Next to take the stage is Amy and the Calamities with her track “Trouble”. The songstress delivers a feisty blues performance which her guitar brings its own attitude to match her vocals. Her tone offers an impressive range to help bring her words to life. It also packs a punch, especially when she delivers the word trouble during the hooks. Here is a gem which is another must-hear moment from the album.
Jay Fraser guitar is driven with the intent and sets the mood for “AC/DC Land”. When he comes in with the vocals, it mirrors the attitude of the music. This combination becomes more of a duet as the song progresses. Both have a fiery nature to their tone, especially with the intricate style of his guitar. It is difficult not to be impressed with this performance.
Bringing his own blend of soul and funk is Eddy Smith & The 507 with his song “Temptation”. From its opening, the listener is drawn in as he produces some magic on the keys. It is not long before the soul level goes up as Smiths vocals come into play. When it does, the passion in his delivery is infectious. These two elements dance around each other to create a homage to this classic sound.
The tempo slows back down for “Everything” by Jack Trouble. From the outset, he shows off his skills on his guitar. It has a gentle flow that sounds effortless but is still emotive. When his vocals join in, they are tender to reflect the mood of the song. There is a soulful element to his voice. It is used to add an honest emotion to his captivating storytelling style.
There is another story to be told with Dom Glynn‘s “Never Free at All”. He sets the tone with a captivating fingerpicking style on the guitar, and it continues till the end of the song. But, this is overshadowed by his way with words and how they are delivered. He has a traditional and old folk style to storytelling. His words provoke imagery which holds the listener’s attention.
Closing the album is the beautiful track “Phobia” which focuses around the vocal talent of Helena Deans. As it begins, she shows off her skills on the keys to create a soulful undertone. With the mood set, she gets the opportunity to showcase the passion and range to her voice. It flows so effortlessly and holds the listener’s attention to the song’s end.
With so much talent on show with Spiritual Records Live No 3, it is difficult to pick a favourite
Yet again, here is a collection of songs that shines a light on some impressive musicians. It is a credit to Spiritual Records/Spiritual Bar and how much they believe in the artists they support. It would be safe to say that this trend will continue and another live release will be with us soon. Until then, give this album a listen and discover your new favourite artist.