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Beth Hart Fire On The Floor

By Richard Ludmerer
In CD Reviews INDIE Blues
Mar 10th, 2017

Beth Hart

Fire On The Floor

Provogue/Mascot Label Group

Los Angeles is the home of Beth Hart who appeared on the TV show Star Search hosted by Ed McMahon. In 1993 she won the Female Vocalist competition for that season. Hart released her first album “Immortal” on Atlantic Records in 1996. Her follow-up recording, also on Atlantic, was 1999’s “Screamin’ for My Supper” which included the hit single “LA Song (Out of This Town)”.

In 2001 Hart played the starring role in the musical “Love, Janis”, an off-Broadway production, based on Janis Joplin’s letters to her sister. When the show closed in 2003 she continued to record.

Hart collaborated with Joe Bonamassa and they released 2011’s “Don’t Explain” an album of blues classics resulting in a 2013 Blues Music Award nomination for “Best Contemporary Blues Album”.

Hart’s sixth solo album 2012’s “Bang Bang Boom Boom” reached #3 on the Billboard Blues Album Chart.

In 2013 Hart re-united with Bonamassa and released “Seasaw”. The album was nominated for a Grammy and Hart also received a BMA nomination as “Best Contemporary Blues Female Artist”. The duo toured Europe and subsequently recorded 2014’s “Live in Amsterdam” which resulted in her receiving another BMA nomination in the same category.

Hart’s last album 2015’s “Better Than Home” resulted in a third consecutive BMA nomination as 2016’s “Best Contemporary Blues Female Artist”. Hart has four BMA nominations overall.

For this new album Hart’s first call was to Oliver Leiber, the acclaimed producer, whose credits include over 300 albums by artists such as Aretha Franklin, Paula Abdul, and The Knack. He had also produced two previous albums for Hart including 1999’s “Screamin’ for My Supper” and 2003’s “Leave The Light On”. At his Los Angeles recording studio Leiber assembled a band of seasoned professionals including Michael Landau (Pink Floyd, Roger Daltrey, Glenn Frey), guitar; Robert “Waddy” Wachtel (Keith Richards, James Taylor, Warren Zevon), guitar; Brian Allen (Robben Ford), bass; Rick Marotta (Aretha Frankin, Steely Dan, CSN), drums; Jim Cox (Mark Knofler, Aerosmith, Boz Scaggs) piano; Dean Parks (Steely Dan, Elton John), acoustic guitar; and Ivan Neville (Dumpstaphunk), Hammond Organ.

Ten songs were written by Hart while two were co-writes. “Jazz Man” features Cox’s jazzy piano and the horn section of Eric Leeds, sax; and Brad Shermock, trumpet. It’s a great vocal from Hart who even sings some scat.

Marotta’s drums are upfront in the mix on “Love Gangster” with the lyric “nobody’s gonna love you like I do”. “Let’s Get Together” was co-written with Rune Westberg; it’s a soulful romp with the horns and Neville on the B-3.

“Fat Man” was written with Glen Burtnik. This tune really rocks and is receiving a considerable amount of airplay. The title track “Fire On The Floor” is a passionate song about loving someone who is wrong for you. “Baby Shot Me Down” is a mojito infused tune which is a lot of fun. “No Place Like Home” is a song for the road weary yearning for home.

This is not a blues album per se but rather an album of original music influenced by the blues. The producer and musicians are true to what they know best. The result is another exciting album from the fabulously talented and versatile Hart who thinks it’s “pretty frickin’ good!”

I think you’ll agree Hart’s got the goods.

Richard Ludmerer



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