May 08, 2017

Low Society: Sanctified

The foundations for the new Low Society album Sanctified were recorded in Belgium last year, when husband and wife Sturgis Nikides (guitar) and Mandy Lemons Nikides (vocals) entered the Closed Session Recording Studio in Roeselare with Jacky Verstraeten (bass) and Bart De Bruecker (drums), the rhythm section that they had enlisted for their shows in Holland and Belgium. They finished the album in their hometown Memphis, TN at American Recording Studio, with engineer Will Danger. This might well be the first Transatlantic screaming blues album ever and it's filled to the rafters with shoe-tapping goodness, raw and downright sexy emotion, and heartfelt love for the blues.

Sanctified is a tribute to old school production values, using natural echo, vintage amps and miking all the instruments carefully. Since they are a band that plays really loud (Racoon Song) and soft (Nina, New York City Boy #3) it's no small feat that they found a way to end up with a consistent range of dynamics. No need to adjust your set - well, only to turn it up, but that 's been taken care off as soon as the first notes of their cover of Angel From Montgomery has down its way to the speakers.

Blues is a timeless genre. Low Society honours the tradition with renditions by bookending Sanctified covers of Angel From Montgomery and I'd Rather Go Blind, but it's their own stuff that really rips. Mandy Lemons Nikides'vocals sounded pretty damn good on their previous albums, but she turned it up just a notch just to make sure. Sturgis Nikides can make his guitar wail like a banshee or purr like a kitten, alternating between riffing and delicate picking. The neo-juke joint title track and the NOLA-vibe of Here Comes The Flood are sure to make waves in roots music circles. Guitar geeks and jazz buffs should start with Nina, a touching tribute to the great jazz singer and Sturgis Nikides' lifelong obsession with Jimmy Page's White Summer rolled into one. Sanctified is a tender scorcher and their best album to date.

Low Society:
Mandy Lemons: vocals, whistle, percussion
Sturgis Nikides: guitars, mandolin, tremeleo, vocals
Jacky Verstraeten: bass
Bart De Bruecker: drums
Guest musicians:
Rick Steff: organ, piano, accordion
Will Danger: piano on Nina
Brian Hawkins: jaw harp on Racoon Song
Andrew McCarthy: percussion

Sanctified is released on Rezonate Records. Buy it from the band's website.

Tracks:
  1. Angel From Montgomery
  2. The Raccoon Song
  3. The Freeze
  4. Sanctified
  5. River Of Tears
  6. Nina
  7. Drowning Blues
  8. New York City Boy #3
  9. Here Comes The Flood
  10. I'd Rather Go Blind

They will be on tour in Europe in October and November, playing shows in Belgium and Holland.

» screaminblues.com
» Low Society on Facebook

HCTF review of You Can't Keep A Good Woman Down.

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