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by on 13 October 2019

A Pure Joy to Hear


music and lyrics by Elaine Samuels

Kindred Spirit, recording to be released on 2nd November

Review by Larry Richmond

Well, hello readers. I’d best put my glass of champagne down to tell you about a most interesting new record album that I have just heard.

The album, to be released on compact disc (CD) at a special launch gig at All Hallows, Twickenham, on Saturday 2nd November, is called Elemental and is from the Kindred Spirit Band. It has various musical elements to it. A combination of folk, with touches of Irish folk, jigs, reels and a touch of sea shanty, plus blues and light rock.

Elemantal CentralStudioBandCrop2015

The musicians are excellent. The lead vocalist has a very pleasant voice. Overall I found it a most enjoyable listen. The album is well produced, with the front cover and all the album art designed and produced by the versatile Elaine Samuels, who writes both music and lyrics and is the leading light of this group.

Elemental Elaine_BabyTaylor

Mention must be made of the individual performers, starting of course with the vocalist and guitarist Elaine Samuels, whom I believe wrote all the original new songs, has a most charming voice, hauntingly relaxing in her delivery. She has an immense talent and a pure joy to hear.

Martin Ash on violin and viola, plus Catherine Cooper on flute and saxophone both have a classical feel that is delightful. Les Binks on drums and percussion is equally perfect.
Mike Hislop and Aleem Saleh share the bass guitar credits and provide good bass support throughout, while Steve Hutchinson provides backing vocals.

Elemental CentralStudioGavin3

There are twelve tracks on the album, Elaine Samuels’ eleven original tracks and a bonus cover number, Feelin’ Good made famous by Nina Simone and Muse. Each track conveys an inner kindred feeling of life, and which are mesmerizing in their lyrical content and musical arrangements.

The title track, The Alchemyst, featured on the cover mount CD of the September issue of Prog Magazine, is inspired by the life of Dr John Dee, Queen Elizabeth I’s court advisor, alchemist and astrologer and hints at the heroic historical nature of his intriguing inquisitive mind.

A similar placing of the band’s previous album, Phoenix Rising as a Prog Magazine cover mount propelled them to international recognition.

Another historically based track, Vikings features no less than a Viking invasion and battle. With some stimulating time signature changes, it is suffused with the ambience of legend.

Perhaps this feeling leads on to the almost celestial atmosphere of Need Your Love, which Samuels revels as being inspired by the Philip Pullman, Northern Lights trilogy.

Progressive rock, or art rock, which is defined as “the expansive nature of lyrical themes and more unusual melodic and rhythmic structures” is well illustrated in Elemental in the versatility and virtuosity of the artists. The variety is evident in the tracks, Make a Change, with its world music flute-led sound and No Smoke Without Fire, skilfully steering its way between rock and the hard place of pure blues.

Now let me pour another glass of champagne … no, vintage champagne … and play again this excellent album, Elemental.

Life can be wonderful. Get the album and enjoy.

Larry Richmond
Oct 2019

Photography by Clive Turner and RP Photography

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