The Blues came calling first, but rock was always waiting around the corner. Well it would be, wouldn’t it? Coming from the deep south, it was inevitable, but living in the deep south of a major Yorkshire City, there’s a gritty hard edge to life!
A female guitar prodigy, Chantel was told by a major label that she had a “great voice, but girls don’t play guitar like that!” Wisely ignoring their comments, she enrolled at the Leeds College of Music and became the first student in the college’s history, to achieve a 100% pass mark at BTEC, with 18 distinctions. Chantel then pursued further education and left with a First Class Honours degree in Popular Music and a coveted prize, the college’s musician of the year award. Chantel released her highly anticipated new album, Lose Control, in October 2015 on her independent boutique label Tis Rock Music, this being the follow up to her critically acclaimed 2011 debut album, Like No Other. After years of touring and festival appearances, Chantel returned with a vengeance with ten new songs that not only salutes contemporary rock, but shows her gradual transition from conventional Blues to a harder, bigger and bolder rock sound with progressive influences.
Erja Lyytinen is part of an exciting young generation of European blues artists who are carrying this traditional form of American music into the future. From her home in Finland, she has ventured out to captivate audiences throughout Europe and recorded albums in places as far flung as her own Seasound Studio in Helsinki and the heart of the Mississippi Delta. Acclaimed for her slide guitar playing abilities, keen songwriting and smooth vocal delivery, Lyytinen is committed to a life of music. And, as her newest release Voracious Love shows, she continues to develop and hone her craft.
Voracious Love, set for release in May 2010, is surely Lyytinen’s most adventurous album to date. Anyone who thinks they know Erja’s sound is in for a surprise. Voracious Love is teeming with snappy beats, disarming melodies, and unexpected lyrical twists and turns. It’s an album without musical blinders: “A crossover album that pushes style boundaries,” explains Erja. The lavishly orchestrated “Bed of Roses,” featuring Marco Hietala (Nightwish) on vocals and Apocalyptica cellist Paavo Lötjönen, is just one example of its broad scope. Of course, there’s also plenty of slide guitar magic spread across the album’s impressive 13 tracks.
Voracious Love is a definite step forward, both musically and personally. Erja – never one to shy away from change – has even created a fresh new visual image for herself, as seen in the striking photos adorning the cover and booklet. “I personally feel like I’m in a different place now,” she says in comparing the album to her previous work. “This one really feels like me and sounds like me.”