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Chris REA – The Return Of The Fabulous Hofner Bluenotes 2008

Posted in BLUES, Chris REA on November 18, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Chris REA – The Return Of The Fabulous Hofner Bluenotes 2008


The Return of the Fabulous Hofner Bluenotes was released by Chris Rea in 2008. It comprises 3CDs and 2 x 10″ Vinyl records in an 80 page hardback book.
The book relates the history of The Delmonts, an imaginary band in the early ’60s, who evolved into The Hofner Bluenotes. It also gives a brief history of the Hofner guitar, and its importance in the development of music in Britain. The book is lavishly illustrated with period photos and mocked up posters and newspaper cuttings about the band, together with some of Rea’s paintings, and photos of Hofner guitars. The music was recorded by Rea (guitars), Colin Hodgkinson (bass) and Martin Ditcham (drums), who feature in the book, together with Niel Drinkwater and Robert Ahwai.
After the album was released, Rea started a European tour. He and his band would perform as a quintet. The concerts were divided in three sections. In first, they would play only songs from Delmonts (CD1), then some blues songs from Fabulous Hofner Blue Notes (CD2), and in the third part Rea’s greatest hits (like: The Road to Hell, Josephine, On the Beach …).
Two years ago, Chris Rea announced his retirement from the music scene, principally on health grounds. But he also promised he would return, albeit in a totally new format uniquely focused on his passion for the Blues. It has now happened and, with his group The Fabulous Hofner Bluenotes. For more than 20 years, Chris Rea played the music business game better than anyone, flying from city to city and around the world, to perform his countless hits before an audience always hungry for more. And of those hits, he wrote more than one himself. From “Josephine” to “Auberge” and including “The Road to Hell” and even “On the Beach”, his magic moments will remain for ever engraved on the collective memory.
New aspirations, new project, new band… and now a new tour to promote “The Return of the Fabulous Hofner Bluenotes”, an entirely new album containing no fewer than 20 original compositions.
This is a wonderful project that Rea has worked on and so utterly compelling. The whole set is very listenable but thought-provoking whatever your mood and wherever you are and whatever you are doing.
It is worth taking time out just to explore the quality of the packaging, pictures and photography which so beautifully evoke the era that the music represents before you lose yourself in the music. As soon as you have done that, you will realize with intrepidation and excitement that this 3CD set is a fine addition to the collection of any self-respecting music lover and is a necessity for any Rea fan.
Following fairly soon after the Magnus Opus ‘Blue Guitars’ in 2005 (less effective, overall, than this, in my opinion) one might have some reservations about how good this new project could be. Fret not. It is perhaps his finest work. For me, at least, it’s certainly up with Chris’ best releases and I cannot recommend it highly enough.
The first CD consists of 16 short guitar-led instrumentals which represent the 50s era during which Rea’s fictional band ‘The Delmonts’ were founded. The tracks can be compared perhaps with The Shadows. The story continues with ‘The Delmonts’ dispanding and most of the band members re-forming to become ‘The Hofner Bluenotes’ who take us through the sixties throughout CDs 2 and 3. The musicianship is superb, not over-produced, and Rea’s guitar playing is, of course, outstanding. From the menacing beat of ‘I can’t wait for love; at the start of CD2, the powerful and satisfying ‘Legacy Blues’ to the gorgeous ‘Meet Me On a Mountain’on CD3, this is pure listening pleasure of the highest calibre from a brilliantly talented musician.
I am a relative new-comer to Rea’s work and I have been catching up on what I’ve been missing. I saw him live in Plymouth in March and I was blown away by this man, by his guitar playing and by his performance.
By Le Rusty.
Cd 1:
01. Dirty New Town – Delmonts
02. 008 Jimmy Bond – Delmonts
03. India Arab – Delmonts
04. BB Was A Comanche – Delmonts
05. Theme From The Pink Guitar – Delmonts
06. Russian Roulette – Delmonts
07. Black Wave Hero’s – Delmonts
08. Andorra Star Blues – Delmonts
09. Gippo Euro – Delmonts
10. Power Of Love – Delmonts
11. Big Storm Coming – Delmonts
12. Race Fever Blues – Delmonts
13. It’s Behind You – Delmonts
14. French Football – Delmonts
15. Green Shirt Blues (For George Russell) – Delmonts
16. Blue Miles – Delmonts
Cd 2:
01. I Can’t Wait For Love – Fabulous Hofner Blue Notes
02 Speak Of God, Act Like The Devil
03. Big Wave – Fabulous Hofner Blue Notes
04. Don’t Give Your Ace Away – Fabulous Hofner Blue Notes
05. Renaissance Blues – Fabulous Hofner Blue Notes
06. Let’s Getaway – Fabulous Hofner Blue Notes
07. Legacy Blues – Fabulous Hofner Blue Notes
08. Don’t Tell Me About The Blues – Fabulous Hofner Blue Notes
09. If I Keep My Faith In You – Fabulous Hofner Blue Notes
10. Shadow Of A Fool – Fabulous Hofner Blue Notes
11. Rock ‘n’ Roll Tonight – Fabulous Hofner Blue Notes
12. I Will Be With You – Fabulous Hofner Blue Notes

Cd 3:
01. Twister – Fabulous Hofner Blue Notes
02. When The Truth Comes Out – Fabulous Hofner Blue Notes
03. Because It’s You – Fabulous Hofner Blue Notes
04. Looking Glass Blues – Fabulous Hofner Blue Notes
05. Blues For Janice – Fabulous Hofner Blue Notes
06. Meet Me On The Mountain – Fabulous Hofner Blue Notes
07. Skylark Blues – Fabulous Hofner Blue Notes
08. Which Part Of The Painting Made – Fabulous Hofner Blue Notes
09. Days I Spent With You (Song For Bella) – Fabulous Hofner Blue Notes
10. Yes I Do – Fabulous Hofner Blue Notes

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