COTTON SOETERBOEK BAND - TWISTED (2008, CAF FINE RECORDS)
Alan Cotton - guitars
Robert Soeterboek - vocals
Mike Davis - bass
Joost van den Broek - keyboards
Reynold 'Butch' Carlson - drums
The Cotton Soeterboek Band might be a new name on people's lips, but the two main personnel of this outfit have their own history to tell. Thankfully they get to tell it together. Alan Cotton is a well recognised name in the industry, both as a participating band member with Maestro Alex Gregory
and local New York bands BTT
and Souls Of Ten
. Also recognised in the advertising and jingle world, Alan set about to forming his own band. He had to look across to Europe to find a talented Dutchman Robert Soeterboek to pick up the role of a frontman. Soeterboek will be known to fans of Ayreon
and Wicked Sensation
, but it is his sensational bluesy soulful vocals that deliver the goods, sounding like Ray Gillen
, David Coverdale
and John Sloman
- all wrapped up in one. The duo released an EP in 2006, and soon returned to the studio with the above lineup for the recording of the debut album 'Twisted'. More recently, the band has taken on more of a Dutch influence, with Wim Den Boer and Wilfried Broekman joining the band officially on bass and drums respectively. The album was jointly recorded between L.A and Colorado Springs, the bands fan club is also based out of Colorado Springs, while there is a song onboard called 'Colorado'. Must be something in the water up there huh?
The band's bio suggests that there are echoes of the past in their music. Without doubt, bands such as Free
, Deep Purple
, Uriah Heep
, early Whitesnake
and Lynyrd Skynyrd
all get a look in here. The band don't forget some of the current day reference points either. The Black Crowes
are a good fit. Cotton and Soeterboek didn't muck around in the studio. They went in and recorded these songs as if trying to capture lightning in a bottle. It is on albums like these where the spontaneity thing works best. The pretentiousness of over-extended studio time and endless editing wouldn't work with these guys!
Vocally, 'Set Me Free'
is as close to Coverdale as you could get without the Copyright lawyers knocking on your doorstep asking you to politely refrain from impersonation! All jokes aside, the solid guitarwork from Cotton plus the swirling organ work takes you on a 70's joyride with Richie Blackmore and Mick Box in the front seat, while Jon Lord and Ken Hensley occupy the back seat and offer advice along the way!
may be the two-legged sizzler in this tale of love and remembrance, the song itself is a mid-tempo blues based rocker with a hot solo from Cotton to fry the fingers.
The boys grind out a hard earned blues-belter with the title track 'Twisted'
. Nothing untoward here, as this track in the right in the middle zone of this band's preferred style.
offers a slightly different angle. The song sounds like something that John Payne
(formerly of Asia
now of GPS
) would do. Soeterboek's vocal is very similar, and overall, this has more of a mainstream rock vibe happening.
Heading down the old country road (or as the bio says.. 'pastoral rock') is 'Leave Me Blue'
. It's a simpler structure played with a stripped down sound mainly and an emphasis on piano and organ, though the chorus is still quite rocky and upfront.
Back to a harder blues style we go with 'Little Sister'
. Soeterboek's cool vocal will have you making comparisons yet again, the guitar/organ interplay combines effectively here, but to be honest, it does all the way through the album.
'Gold And Gray'
is a bright and breezy tune, and has a Euro pop thing happening, a la Michael Learns To Rock
meets Crowded House
. Nice track..
Before you start thinking. no.. 'Still Of The Night'
is not a cover song by Coverdale's mob. And despite Soeterboek sounding uncannily like the Whitesnake
frontman, this one ventures down the Black Crowes
path, with it's toe tapping piano work and ever present organ.
Closing off the album is 'The Game'
. Again, this one offers up variety. The track is more hard rock, the vocals also have a monotone aspect about them which is obviously due to the song structure and style.
As with this style of music, it's familiar and inviting, but ironically does have a point of difference in places. The CD is not an overly long stay, clocking in at 31 minutes at best. Sometimes, short, sharp and snappy is the way to go, though I'm sure some punters will complain. With the now significant Dutch influence in the band, no doubt the boys might be inclined to play some of the blues oriented clubs around Europe. If you get the opportunity, get out and see them play live somewhere, as I'm sure these songs will come to life onstage.
Cotton Soeterboek Band
01 Set Me Free
02 Pretty Maureen
05 Leave Me Blue
06 Little Sister
07 Gold And Gray
08 Still Of The Night
09 The Game
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