Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa: Seesaw

By: Brendan

Seesaw is the follow-up to Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa’s 2011 album, Don’t Explain, and features a diverse selection of covers originally recorded by artists such as Tina Turner, Al Green, Billie Holiday and Nina Simone. Ultimately, it’s a hit and miss collection, but the hits will knock you out.

Seesaw includes a superb version of Tina Turner’s “Nutbush City Limits” and powerful performances of Al Green’s “Rhymes” and Buddy Miles’ “Miss Lady.”

I much prefer when the duo lets loose on the bluesier tracks. The decision to use nature sounds in the “Strange Fruit” cover feels like a misstep to me, and something more than a strong voice is needed when tackling a song made famous by Billie Holiday and Nina Simone. .

Download a free mp3 of “I’ll Take Care Of You” from Don’t Explain here and you can still download the title track from Seesaw in our July post about Beth Hart.

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Soundtrack: Stealing Beauty

The eclectic soundtrack to the 1996 Bernardo Bertolucci film Stealing Beauty is another favourite of mine. The film was set in beautiful Tuscany, Italy and starred Liv Tyler, Jeremy Irons, and Rachel Weiss. Though the songs on the soundtrack aren’t directly related to the plot, many of them were used as background music in the film. And you can’t go wrong with Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Mazzy Star, Portishead, Stevie Wonder, and Cocteau Twins.

The soundtrack has a lot of atmospheric, sexy, and sometimes funky songs by the hot “alternative” bands of the time: Hoover’s “2 Wicky”, Portishead’s “Glory Box”, Axiom Funk’s cover of “If 6 Was 9” (originally by Jimi Hendrix), Liz Phair’s “Rocket Boy”, Mazzy Star’s “Rhymes Of An Hour”, Cocteau Twins’ “Alice”, Lori Carson’s “You Won’t Fall”, and “I Need Love” Sam Phillips.

And then there are the classics: Nina Simone’s “My Baby Just Cares For Me”, Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition”, and Billie Holiday’s “I’ll Be Seeing You.

As someone who likes a little bit of everything when it comes to music, Stealing Beauty is possibly the perfect mixed CD.

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