great crusades Until the Night Turned to Day (CD, £12.50)label: Blue Rose
You can't overlook the "9", proudly displayed on the inner sleeve of Until The Night Turned To Day, the new album by the Great Crusades. This powerful four-piece from Chicago has been delighting audiences in Europe for 20 years, racking up more than 20 cross-Atlantic journeys. The Great Crusades have established themselves as a thrilling live act but while that reputation is well-deserved, it overshadows their achievements as recording artists. They are rarely perceived as the intelligently rocking, versatile, insightful-lyric-writing band that they are. Just in time for their early-summer tour, the band drop their 9th album Until The Night Turned To Day. After many years on Glitterhouse Records, this is their second album for Blue Rose Records and an apt successor for the much-lauded Thieves Of Chicago from 2014. The Great Crusades were founded more than twenty years ago by band leader, singer, lyricist and guitarist Brian Krumm. As a front man with a powerful voice and performance he reminds us of Mark Lanegan, Nick Cave, Tito Larriva, Gary Floyd (Sister Double Happiness), John Kay (Steppenwolf), Joe Pena (Greyhound Soul) and Guy Kyser (Thin White Rope): an instantly recognisable shouter/singer/storyteller with a charismatic presence. After their first album from 1997, The First Spilled Drink Of The Evening, and moving from the rural midwest to Chicago, Krumm found a stable and as yet unchanged band formation with guitarist/keyboarder Brian Leach, bassist Brian Hunt and drummer/keyboarder Christian Moder to record the second album Damaged Goods (2000) with. These four also played on the following (Glitterhouse) albums Never Go Home (02), Welcome To The Hiawatha Inn (04), Four Thirty (06), Keep Them Entertained (07) and Fiction To Shame (10) as well as the aforementioned Blue Rose debut Thieves Of Chicago. On Until The Night Turned To Day they are supported by Brian Wilkie (pedal steel), Jake Brookman (cello) and singer Katie Todd. The album title hints at the Great Crusades' habit of nightly rehearsal jams that led to the ideas that were later perfected and turned into songs under Brian Leach's auspices at JoyRide studios. This seems a great method to keep the Great Crusades fresh, flexible and hard to predict - for that is exactly how they come across on Until The Night Turned To Day.
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