Erja Lyytinen The Haven Club Oxford 27-3-19
A very decent Wednesday night crowd greeted the 3 piece The Troy Redfern Band who played us a 45 minute set of heavy duty slide guitar influenced blues rock although could have done with the vocals being a little higher in the mix.
Erja Lyytinen profile has steadily increased since the release of Live In London in 2015 and April 26th sees the release of her latest and greatest cd Another World which is the follow up to 2017's Stolen Hearts cd.
Joining her on this tour are ex Von Hertzen Brothers keyboardist Juha Kuoppala, bassist Tatu Back and drummer Iiro Laitinen who are all superb giving Erja the platform to show off her stunning repertoire of guitar playing which is a joy to watch at such close quarters.
For 100 minutes we had a mix of old and new material with Erja showing such joy at finally playing the new songs to an audience.
I think this is what they played.
Hard As Stone
Snake in the Grass
Erja’s Delta Mix ( including Muddy Waters, Son House, Robert Johnson).
Encore:Jimi Hendrix's Crosstown Traffic
Erja is world renowned as a slide guitar player for which we saw plenty tonight and her fingers are a blur and the Delta Mix she played near the end of the set gave her a chance to show us all of her influences and showing she can add her name to that list too.
Her voice has really developed and is a world class instrument too with a melodic intent but also a mighty roar when required and from such a small frame too!!
There were also some superb lengthy non slide solo's where again she has developed and on Slowly Burning a lengthy picked note for note solo that showed technique poise and no little melodic leanings.
Wonderful to hear Juha's Hammond prowess although he felt the full force of the venue's air conditioning that had the feel of Finland for Erja.
New songs show growth and Hard As Stone has light and shade and plenty of slide soloing while Cherry Overdrive (surely a video coming!!) with all of the car references and Erja's ad libb soloing superb and hints of funk in the riff for the verse before it all explodes in a fuzzy guitar and Hammond chorus with great vocals too.
Snake In The Garden is all insistent guitar riff and more extra add lib solo's and a more mainstream feel to the blues rock number.
Rocking Chair finishes the set in style and included an excellent drum solo before the band returned for a romp through Jimi Hendrix's Crosstown Traffic leaving the crowd wanting more as all good gigs should.
With Another World Erja Lyytinen has taken a huge step forward and with live shows thsi good her star will continue to ascend.