Speechless { the instrumentals }

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1        Industrial (espionage)  
2        All Miles  
3        3454 Miles  
4        Song No. 9
5         Beer  
6        Fake Instrumental  
7        Flat Earth Conspiracy  
8        Blues for Cameroon
9        Crank Part 2  
10     Strange Matter  
11     Blues + Yellow

12     Spaghetti Western
13     Imaginary Conversation between Björk & Buddy Guy

All compositions Warre except tracks 1 & 13 Egan & Warre. 

ASCAP/BMI © All Rights Reserved 2021. Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws and will be punished by our moving next door to you and practicing very loud at 4: 00 am on weeknights.

"Speechless" CD only $20 (includes p+p)

Speechless { the instrumentals } is the latest album from Bees Deluxe.  Featuring musical appearances by Colin Rosso, Patrick Sanders, Richard 'Rosy' Rosenblatt, Joe Egan, Carol Band, Allyn Dorr, Paul Giovine and Conrad Warre.  Mastered by Joe Idzal. Produced by Joe Egan & Conrad Warre. 

 

Listen Up: Bees Deluxe leave listeners 'Speechless'

Victor D. Infante

Worcester Magazine

 

There has never been any denying Bees Deluxe's talent. One need only relisten to the band's 2019 album, “Mouthful of Bees,” to see you were dealing with first-rate blues musicianship. Still, the band's new album, “Speechless,” leaves no room for doubt whatsover. Eschewing vocals and lyrics altogether, the album is a showcase of entirely original instrumental music which pushes at the boundaries between blues and jazz, creating a sort of musical conversation about 20th-century American music which is both emotive and thought-provoking.
 

The band — which comprises Conrad Warre on guitar, Carol Band on keyboards, Allyn Dorr on bass and Paul Giovine on drums — will be performing at 8 p.m. June 13 at City Winery Boston.
 

The album starts with the slow-paced, almost tentative “Industrial (Espionage),” where guitar flows gently like a brook over rocks, while piano and percussion keep to a halting beat which creates a sense of restraint. It's strangely emotional, as is the full-blush of blues percussion and guitar that seeps forward in the subsequent song, “All Miles,” a tribute to jazz great Miles Davis. It's an interesting song, as it more suggests Davis' melodies than evokes them, and it does so in what seems to be an entirely blues diction. Still, there's a sense of freedom as the piano cuts across the tune like a trumpet while the band builds to jazz-infused hooks that bristle with cool.
 

The vibe mellows a bit with “3454 Miles,” with its gentle drum brushes and piano almost imperceptibly evoking the sound of church organs. It's a sort of musical liminal space, an in-between moment before the bass and drum driven slow-burn blues number, “Song No. 9.” Like almost everything on this album, this one finds its power in restraint and inference. If a few notes of the bridge seem to harken to Procol Harum before pivoting into an ending that ripples out slowly, then who's to say whether that's intentional? It might just be the listener's imagination, but everything about this album feels like it's built on associations and references, all while simultaneously feeling fresh and vibrant. Certainly, the subsequent songs “Beer” and “Fake Instrumental” dig deep into their honky-tonk roots, highlighted on the latter track by bristling harmonica from Richard "Rosy" Rosenblatt.

“Flat Earth Conspiracy” is, unsurprisingly, a more linear sort of composition, starting with a sort of ethereal preface and then riding a smooth guitar line through to the end. There's a blues-jam feel to the end, but it keeps its arrangement tight and its focus even tighter. On the other hand, “Blues for Cameroon” brings some more delicate arrangements into the mix, creating a sound that's lush and richly textured, its icicle-brittle guitar notes dissolving entirely into the blues-burner, “Crank Part 2.”

 

Contrasts are a big part of what makes this album work: “Crank Part 2” digs into a fairly straightforward blues groove that's distinct from what comes before, and the subsequent “Strange Matter” takes a more freeform and experimental approach. It's a soulful song, one with a strange, ephemeral feel, and the hard blues that precedes it only puts its airiness into stark relief. Groove gives way to beauty, and then, with “Blue and Yellow,” we're back at honky-tonk. The listener is constantly kept guessing as to what's going to happen next. When what happens next is the aptly named “Spaghetti Western,” again featuring Rosenblatt's harmonica, there is no real preparation. We're in a musical jam in an old-time saloon, and the tone is hot and desert dusty in all the right ways.
 

The album comes to a conclusion with “An Imaginary Conversation Between Björk and Buddy Guy,” in which the band sort of tips its hand as to what it's been up to through this whole thing. There are aspects to this song that are ethereally beautiful, patient piano work letting each note rise like steam. There's also a side which is a deeply soulful guitar line, spinning out into the horizon. It's a long, languid song which, in the end, the album leaves the listener joyously weary, near-overwhelmed by an abundance of beauty.