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Music review: The Timo Arthur Trio - "Fire's Burnin'"

The TImo Arthur Trio at their IBC Fundraiser Jan 11, 2014
The TImo Arthur Trio at their IBC Fundraiser Jan 11, 2014
Takesi (Ken) Akamatsu

Timo Arthur and Tamara Nicolai will be competing in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis later this month. They will be competing in the Solo/Duo category but for their first CD they have become The Timo Arthur Trio with the addition of drummer Pete Maier. The CD was produced by Richard L'Hommedieu at Midnight Circus Productions and he really captured the live sound of the trio. The addition of the drums adds extra depth to Timo's amazing guitar playing and Tamara's elegant upright bass.

For Fire's Burnin', the trio chose six original songs and four covers. The excellent original songs include three that have music by Arthur and lyrics by Nicolai: "Just Call Me," "Follow Me, " and the title track, "Fire's Burnin'". The other three by Arthur alone are "I'll Keep Waiting," "Note to Self" and my favorite original, "Six Strings Away."

Non-original songs include two Willie Dixon numbers, a lesser known Fats Domino tune ("Sick and Tired") and a cooking blues attributed to J Lane called "Money, Marbles and Chalk." My favorite song on the entire CD is the version of Dixon's "You Can't Judge a Book By Its Cover." Timo sings his heart out on this one and both his guitar, Tamara's bass and Meier's drumming are perfect. The trio also does a fantastic job on Dixon's "Good Understanding."

In fact, the whole CD features amazing guitar work and bass work and the drumming is a vibrant extra dimension to what was already an ecellent modern blues sound. The original songs are solid and stand up well to the covers, proving that Arthur and Nicolai can write as well as perform other people's work and thus increasing their versatility. The whole project sounds cohesive and has a clear and lively sound that is almost as good as seeing the trio live.

Catch the Timo Arthur Trio locally, pull for them as a duo at the IBC, and buy the CD! You will enjoy it!

P.S. If you would like to help Timo and Tamara with their Memphis expenses, you can do that by making a donation through Paypal at Even a dollar or two will help!

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