Shaken and Stirred

  • Artist: My Baby
  • Title: Shamanaid
  • Released: 2015
  • Format: Vinyl
  • Genre: Blues/Rock/Gospel/Dance/World
  • Beverage of Choice: Grey Goose Martini, straight up, two olives

Chances are you’ve never heard of this band or their cross-genre, compelling and satisfying music. Based in Amsterdam, My Baby combine elements of rock, blues, dance, gospel, folk and world music into a witch’s brew of entrancing rhythm and melody. Shamanaid is their sophomore album and expands the tone and musicality found on the debut Loves Voodoo with the use of slide guitar, lap steel, dobro and that undefinable element of ambience/feeling that defines great music.

Kicking off with a dance/EDM oriented tune, “Seeing Red“, your introduction to the band may make you scratch your head and ask ‘what the heck does he hear in this stuff that’s so wonderful?’ Just hang in there buddy, this music will creep up on you and, next thing you know, your toes will be tapping, body swaying and you’ll find yourself hooked on the catchiness, craft and concentrated strangeness this group manages to effortlessly create.

Meet Me at the Wishing Well” showcases a loping beat with lap steel and Cato van Dijck’s laid-back voice simultaneously soothing and exciting the ears. Backing vocals from brother Joost provide depth and nuance while guitarist Daniel Johnston interjects with delicious little runs and fills. Nice! “Uprising” focuses on that steel guitar sound with elements of blues, gospel and dance again all mixed up, shaken, stirred together and served up steamy and sweet. “The Doors of Your Mind” sounds like a 70’s throwback but has a modern mix and temperament; listen to this one through a good set of headphones to appreciate all the elements combined here (shaker, wide open mix, guitar interplay left and right; echo percussion and layers of ambience. )

OK, by now you either love it or hate it I guess. If the latter, go ahead and check out back to your comfort zone (anywhere from Demis Roussos to Lamb of God). The discerning rest of you, keep going and explore the excellence represented on the rest of the album with songs like “Mary Morgan“, “Hidden from Time“, “Marching” and “Panggajo” demonstrating the tremendous breadth of sound and expression the band has to offer.

By all accounts My Baby has a fantastic live show and a dedicated core fan group that will travel far to see them in concert. Hopefully they will get ‘big’ enough to make it over to the USA at some point – I will be there front and center to cheer them on!

Published by Rick Adams

Husband, father, music lover

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