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Faces Of The Harp by Engels Espiritos

Engels Espiritos is a Brazilian harmonica player and a vocalist, he is also the leader on three albums, the most recent album, Faces of the Harp an independent release that show cases Espiritos’ harp playing and his vocal talents, most of the songs are sung in Portuguese. The album is primarily a blues based effort that mixes in a few other styles, a hint of jazz, a little bit of country, some folk tunes and even some hard edged blues rock tunes. The supporting musicians do a great job at changing hats and going with the flow. The energy level, the passion and the musical joy are present in every tune.

The album opens as if on a musical journey, "Locomotive Blues" sounding like your standing at a train terminal, where old steam engines take you on your travels, the engine starts and chugs along with Espiritos imitating the locomotive and the song building in energy, a solo performance of impressive blues harp. The next tune "Sea of Brasilia" has Espiritos performing in his native tongue, singing in a rock-tough growling voice, an upbeat tune; R&B based develops, staying close to the style of the previous tune. When Espiritos is playing blues harp he has a sound that is a blend of Paul Butterfield and James Cotton, Chicago style blues that is full of fire.

Changing direction completely, other than the harmonica as featured instrument, a Celtic jig or some type of Brazilian sea shanty is up next, "Sopro Celta" with interesting accordion like riffs fired off in a rousing, high-stepping whirling dervish manner, you can almost picture the fresh seafood walking out of the bar. The blues rock numbers are heavy hitters, "Jogo Da Vida" by Espiritos as well as "Dream Away" and "Grey City Storm" composed by Philip Sayce. The songs are sounding very seventies like and British based, I’m reminded of Joe Cocker, and others who perform in that style of melodic vocal and harmonica playing that emulates those great British guitarists like Taylor, Beck, Page and Clapton.

The recording Faces Of The Harp has twelve tracks and provides the listener with a very diverse range of harmonica based tunes. I believe all of the tunes feature the diatonic harmonica, your basic blues harp. The songs that are blues based are the songs that push the energy level to the top, I hope that a traditional blues based album is in the works for Espiritos.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Engels Espiritos
  • CD Title: Faces Of The Harp
  • Genre: World Music
  • Year Released: 2007
  • Record Label: Independent
  • Musicians: Engels Espiritos (lead vocals, harmonica), Cezar Santon, Vinicius (drums), Eduardo W, Luiz Duarte, Pablo Vilela, Beto Perez, Guilherme M. Negrao (guitars), Marcelo Ribeiro, Michel Marciano, Caster (bass) Caetano Rojas (harmonica), Ana Aune (backing vocals) Emir Godinho (percussion)
  • Rating: Two Stars
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