"Her sultry voice has immediacy and intimacy, the instruments captured with real vitality, and the whole recording drips with presence and a sense of performance. Hifi News and Records!"
- Hifi News and Records
Carmen Gomes - vocal
Folker Tettero - guitar
Peter Bjørnild - double-bass
Bert Kamsteeg - drums
Total time: 45:19
Original recording format DXD 352kHz.
"A song is like a dream, and you try to make it come true. They're like strange countries you have to enter".
- Bob Dylan
Discovering the Music of Blues Legend Robert Johnson
By framing each of Robert Johnson’s songs with small instrumental miniatures, Carmen Gomes Inc. have created an album that sounds like an imaginary road movie. Listening one perceives Robert walking late at night, en route in the Mississippi Delta, reflecting back on his life.
The low A, 27.5 Hz, from the bowed down tuned double bass representing the Mississippi night, the drums creating the sounds surrounding the night and the guitar being Robert’s mind.
"When I got to the end of the road the Silence began. I had driven 2340 km from More than playing parts, guitarist Folker Tettero and drummer Bert Kamsteeg are playing moods. I actually asked Bert to play the lyrics instead of the drums, a task I knew especially he would be able to fulfill. Throughout the album Folker is in constant dialogue with Carmen's melody line, sometimes edging her on and at other times comforting her. Folker decided to use an electric 12 string guitar on the small miniatures. The sounds he creates adds a whole new aspect to his musicianship and emphasizes his deep affinity for the blues. Carmen is at the top of her game here. Her 'never the same way twice' saxophone like phrasing showing her jazz heritage and why jazz is in such great debt to the blues. Love in Vain in particular being a good example.
Engineer Frans De Rond created a One Mic Plus set up. Adding two Josephson C700A microphones (vocal and bass) to the central Josephson C700S as well as an ambient spaced pair of Josephson C617 microphones up high as our main source of ambience. The benefit soundwise, compared to the pure one mic setup, being that the sound of Carmen’s voice and my double bass would not suffer when the band at certain moments would raise the dynamic level.
Arranging Robert Johnson's songs for Carmen Gomes Inc. was less difficult than I expected. Somehow each song was telling me instantly what to do. Even 'When You Got a Good Friend', with it's J.S. Bach inspired counterpoint or 'Love In Vain' where the harmony used has more to do with bebop than blues, were written very quickly. It was as if they materialized instead of having to be arranged.
Same goes for the instrumental compositions which were made on the spot, they took no effort, they played themselves.
A big thank you goes out to Bruce Conforth and Gayle Dean Wardlow.
Their book: 'Up Jumped the Devil: The Real Life of Robert Johnson' has been very helpful in clarifying Robert Johnson’s life and lyrics as well as being a direct inspiration on the mood of the whole album.
Peter Bjørnild - Sound Liaison
Recording, mixing and mastering by Frans de Rond.
Produced by Peter Bjørnild.
Music arranged by Peter Bjørnild with lots of help from Carmen, Folker and Bert.
Recorded at MCO, Studio 2, Hilversum, The Netherlands, on the 16th and the 17th of July 2020.
Sound Liaison provide the one to one copy of the original master.
This is a One Mic + recording.
Main central microphone: Josephson C700S
Support microphone Carmen: Josephson C700A
Support microphone Peter's bass: Josephson C700A
Ambience microphones spaced pair of 2 Josephson C617
Micpre's: Merging Horus
Microphone cables by AudioQuest
Speakers: TAD Compact Evolution
Poweramp: Moon 760A
Mixing headphones: Sennheiser HD800S / AKG 702
All power cables and power conditioners by AudioQuest.
Double bass brass-slide C-extension made by Jeppe Mørch Sørensen
Cover photo and video by Milan Bjørnild
2 Meter Sessions photo's by Michael Boersma
Catalog Number: SL-1043A