www.allgigs.co.uk (Katherine Tomlinson)
A powerful offering, designed to re-invent the blues genre
Giles, led by singer/songwriter Mark Koehurst, return with their second album, "Blood From a Stone," a powerful offering, designed to reinvent the blues genre, with a style suitable for present day music.
Jazz, Funk, and soul are all present, with the help of Giles' three members fusing their song writing ideas and influences together, to produce an album worthy of its attention. However, rock fans need not despair as the old favourite, the guitar riffs, are still there.
Funk tinged offering "In My Soul" is a prime example of what Mark has to offer in his role as lead guitarist, just the beginning of some impressive guitar sounds, alongside his trademark blues vocals, proving his multi-talented musicianship.
" I got the blues in my soul, don't wanna play no rock and roll" crashing crescendo of a guitar/drums to finish.
Title track "Blood From a Stone" features yet more funky guitar work, but with a more mellow jazz feel and heart on sleeve, meaningful lyrics. In contrast, the beat kicks up again for "Rollin' and Tumblin' " an upbeat rock stomper, with explosive guitar features and chugging rhythms, whilst showing off Koehurst's vocals which greatly shine as much as on the previous ballad, complete with chugging guitar and drum rhythms, this is one to get any classic rock fans going. If this is their live sound, it is no surprise that the band has already hit the gig scene hard.
As the CD progresses, it becomes evident that Giles swap and change moods, from ecstatic highs, to chilled out offerings, but definitely not lows. One moment, there are ballad like blues on "Tease You," with its not so ballad like lyrics, describing being wrapped around a woman's finger.
"I will tease you with the way I look, I will tease you with the way I move
I will tease you with the way I smile, I will tease you with the way I groove
to the rhythm that's in my head"
Before you know it, they are on a high again with the upbeat, "You Don't Know," which with it bringing quite a trance like sound, another heartfelt offering describing how it is to be expected to be perfect, and the risk of losing everything if you are any less, having the pedestal knocked from under you.
To end on a quiet note, "Coming Home," again expresses their natural talent and love of blues music.
"When I play the blues, feels like I'm coming home."
A song which sums Giles up in eight minutes of jazz/blues wizardry.
Blues in Britain (Lionel Ross)
...excellent...splendid...reinventing the blues
This album has been produced and very largely performed by Mark Koehorst, the lead singer/guitarist of Giles. He provides the lead vocals and plays all the instruments on all but two of the ten tracks. The exceptions were recorded live and feature Bobby Kewley/ Philip Escott and Mark ‘Crash’ Wainwright/James Hoy on bass/drums respectively.
Eight of the tracks are original compositions, including the funky “Crazy”, “In My Soul”, a slow blues significantly enhanced by some inventive guitar work, and the slow and bluesy “Tease You”. “You Don’t Know” has a funky/eastern feel to it and a driving, hypnotic beat; while the title song is an excellent slow ballad. “Coming Home” is another slow blues and one of the two live tracks on the album. The other two original numbers, “She Broke My Heart” and “Brown Instrumental”, whilst well composed and expertly performed, fit rather less readily into the blues-based inflection of the album. The two cover versions on the CD comprise a great version of “Suzie Q” and a splendid live performance of “Rollin’ and Tumblin’”.
The album is very enjoyable and provides a testament to the considerable talent and versatility of Mark Koehorst. The variety and originality of his compositions and the freshness of his interpretation of the covers substantially endorse his claim of reinventing the blues.