Bernard Alison is a Chicago-origin artist, but is nowadays based in Paris, France. He has been a significant contributor to the blues genre since he started releasing music in 1990. His latest album, Highs & Lows, is already his twentieth longer play release. I had a listen to the tracks.
Bernard Allison – About The Artist
Bernhard Alison was born in Chicago on 26th November 1965. His family is in the music business, as his father Luther has been a blues musician as well. His first major steps on stage, apart from supporting his father, was being part of Koko Taylor’s touring band. In the mid-1980’s he had a blues band. Bernard Allison and Back Talk was quite successful in Canada. His first solo album was The Next Generation in 1990.
Bernard Allison – Highs & Lows – Track by Track
The eleven track album lasts 45 minutes.
1. So Exited
The album starts excitingly with So Excited. Very rocking, but also with a lovely blues touch. Great groove, great play. Definitely a promising beginning of the Highs & Lows.
2. Highs & Lows
After this powerful start, the title track connects with a catching groove and nice finger-picking, but with less rock feeling. Guitar fans will still have some chords in the background, but Highs & Lows is more melodic and more gentle.
3. Strain On My Heart
The third song has a lovely modern blues touch. The core of the four minute track is the lovely saxophone solo by Jose Ned James. Great listen.
4. My Way Or The Highway
My Way Or The Highway is another rather classic blues sound with strong guitars and a lovely backing organ play. Just as you would blues expect to sound alike.
5. Side Step
This is significantly slower than the songs before and thus leads to a very laid back, relaxed feeling.
The sax is back. The instrument and James on the saxophone plays a major role in this rhythmic track. However, the key instrument on the melodic side of Hustler is definitely the harmonica (played by Bobby Rush), which adds a nice touch to this track.
7. Now You Got It
Now You Got It is a very rhythmic, catching song, which rather feels like funk than like blues to me. The song has some really nice, grooving bass line as well. Feel like dancing? Go this track, maybe.
8. I Gave It All
If you are inspired dance now after the seventh song, your movements will be much slower while listening to I Gave It All. A slow song with a nice instrumental arrangement also featuring sounds like the Hammond. Cool.
9. My Kinda Girl
The Hammond organ one of the key instruments in My Kinda Girl. Again, Bernard Allison creates a lovely groove and just feels to musically grab you and keep you in the story of the song. Lovely one full of love and emotions.
Let me be the one
Who loves and holds you tight.
I wanna tease you, squeeze you,
Girl I wanna please you tonight.
10. Satisfy Her Needs
Even though the lyrics of Satisfy Her Needs nicely connect to the predecessor, the track feels a bit harder, a bit more rocking. The lead guitar and the organ guitar are the key elements of the song. Nice listen.
11. Last Night
Last Night is using its 4:41 minute duration to have nicely varying sounds. Some parts feel like funk, some a rocking – but there is always the presence of a great blues groove. A nice farewell, which feels a bit like a – good – musical potpourri.
Bernard Allison – Highs & Lows – Spotify
Here is Highs & Lows on Spotify
Bernard Allison – Highs & Lows – My View
One genre I definitely enjoy to listen to more and more while I opened the Flyctory media reviews for other genres as well is the blues. Bernard Allison’s Highs & Lows is a beautiful illustration about the very special magic of this genre. The songs feel to be linked on the one hand, but come with a very own character on the other. A good listen, for sure.
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