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Christian Dozzler & Robin Bank$ - Livin' Life
14 songs; 54:12 minutes; Meritable
Styles: Piano Blues in varying styles
My wife and I travel, working for a sub-contractor at different Southern U.S. power stations. After checking in at the Allerton Hotel, we needed a fix for our Sunday afternoon cabin fever and monotony. My wife insisted that we go upstairs to the 23rd floor’s jinkety sounding Piano bar named the “Tip Top Tap.” We figured it’d be just another round of cocktails and football playoffs.
Off the elevator and walking up to the door, we stopped and said, “Whoa, sounds like this joint is jamming!” Inside, looking around, we saw a crowd locked into a vapor of good tunes and good times. The greeter came up and welcomed us. We explained our situation of looking for a game and all, but this looked so much better that we told him, “We hit the jackpot today!”
The greeter explained the entertainment is a man and woman singing; the man played piano (and an accordion on one song). That was it, a simple piano and voice duo -- no guitar, drums, or backup band! While the music was, thus, limited, the piano player was well above average. He simply rocked the boogie on a couple of instrumentals! And, the singing was superb as they took turns singing solos, but only one duet. The songs were all originals which was pleasantly surprising.
Music played and people swayed as the afternoon glided into evening. Before we could unravel what we had witnessed, the last soulful note was morphing into a fond memory.
On the 23rd floor, we got “high” at the Tip Top Tap,
Dick & Edna
Dear Blues Fans,
Christian Dozzler is an Austrian born Boogie Woogie pianist, singer, and songwriter who now resides in Texas. This album is a collaboration with Canadian born and international singer and songwriter Robin Bank$, (sic) who sings on her own songs - half of the fourteen tracks here. Their friendship began in 2002 when Dozzler arrived in Dallas and met Bank$, herself a Texas transplant of 1999. A friendship was born out of mutual respect for their talent and love of the Blues. Many subsequent jams and gigs were shared, and Dozzler played piano on Bank$’ CD, “Live After Dark.”
Across this set, they deftly blend Jazz, R&B, Creole, Country, Blues, and Boogie-woogie. The first earworm I was later singing to myself in the car is the perky “Last Time I Saw Texas,” written and sung in honor of the Lone Star State by Bank$.
For the soulful title track only, Dozzler moves over to electric piano and pounds out a mid-tempo number sung by Bank$.
The best Blues is found in “Story of the Blues,” a slower number sung poignantly by Dozzler. His left, bass hand is especially strong here, and the melody’s attention grabbing highs and lows make this seven minute song seem like three.
For fans of piano, pure artistry, and simplicity, “Livin’ Life” is a nice, tasty set..
Reviewer James "Skyy Dobro" Walker is a noted Blues writer, DJ, Master of Ceremonies, and longtime Blues Blast Magazine contributor. His weekly radio show "Friends of the Blues" can be heard Thursdays from 7 - 8 pm and Saturdays 8 pm - Midnight on WKCC 91.1 FM and at www.wkccradio.org in Kankakee, IL
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