SALINA ALBERT & TOM RIEPL – Almost Empty We Unplugged / Tomtone Records, 2020 / EP CD , digital / folk, country rock, Americana, blues / USA, Germany
Singer Salina Albert and the among ‘Gitarre&Bass’ readers well-known guitarist, Tom Riepl, have recorded an EP (“Almost Empty We Unplugged“) in which various acoustic guitars and a ukulele, discreetly supported by percussion, support the harmonic and rhythmic background for Salina Albert’s bell-clear and present voice.
Six songs, including an original composition (“Home“), were recorded with great attention to detail and performed flawlessly. It starts with the Dickey Betts classic, “Good Time Feeling“, an uptempo swing that evokes associations with the legendary recordings of Les Paul and Mary Ford through Salina’s flawlessly intoned harmony vocals as well as the three-part guitar set in the middle section.
Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi” grooves a bit more relaxed than the original, without losing sight of the song’s spirit. The Allman Brothers cult song “Midnight Rider“, mutates into an almost mystical sound painting. In Barry Volk’s “I Can Fly” and “Home” penned by Tom and Salina, the only electrified addition we hear is a Stratocaster.
The album is multi-layered, without appearing overloaded, and guitar gourmets will discover new filigree details of highest string art every time they listen to. The transparent and dynamic sound of the EP, which can be purchased online at www.tomriepl.com, deserves special praise.
Discography – The Only One (1988) ; Dance the Blues (1991) ; Let the Guitar do the Talkin’ (Rialto Records, 1993) ; Planet G. (1997) ; Doctor J., Tom Riepl – Acoustified (CD, Album, Papa’s Studio, 2001) ; Hollymood (Tomtone Pictures, 2002) ; Radio Moonlight (2006) ; Play (2012) ; Salinea Albert & Tom Riepl – Almost Empty We Unplugged (EP CD, Tomtone Records, 2020)
Album recorded – Salina Albert (vocals) ; Tom Riepl (acoustic and electric guitars, ukulele) – guest appearances by – Thomas Mäx Köppl (percussion) ; Max Niedermaier (flute)
Tom Riepl is musician whose career I have been following for more than a decade. This was certainly not accidental, nor without very good reason. Tom has always managed to maintain the high quality of his artwork, to be current and interesting in all forms of his musical creation.
As a Bavarian, Tom goes to America regularly and is now trying to expand his music career there. This temporarily change of residence is not too much of a problem for him – he explained everything by saying that because of his hometown – Planet Earth. On the other hand, as a foreigner, a newcomer to a new environment, Tom had to be a “three times” better musician compared to those domicile musicians in order to cope on the local music scene. Fortunately, Tom had the capacity, knowledge and perseverance to reach that level, to fight for his equal status in the new environment.
EP CD, “Almost Empty We Unplugged“, Tom‘s current release he made with support of Salina Albert (singer). Styles included in these songs were folk, country rock, Americana, blues. I want to emphasize the brilliant purity of the singer Salina‘s voice, as well as the sound of instruments (guitars, ukuleles) in the hands of Tom Riepl. Although almost all the songs (except one) are covers, they were given a new approach which gave them a new artistic dimension. It is a confirmation that every song can be made even better than the original, because mere repetition, copying, has no purpose and leads nowhere.
I’m already wondering what further path Tom‘s musical career will take – with or without Salina. In any case – it will be the main “player” there – Tom – and that is already a guarantee that a new work worthy of attention will follow.
Salina Albert & Tom Riepl – “Almost Empty We Unplugged” – 1. Good Time Feeling ; 2. Big Yellow Taxi ; 3. Give Me Some Money ; 4. Midnight Rider ; 5. I Can Fly ; 6. Home
Related links –
YT – Due to corona situation – related video will be posted on YouTube later