ERGO SUM Mike Sponza with Ian Siegal featuring Dana Gillespie (Epops Music) ***** This is one of the coolest albums you’re likely to hear this year. Full of fat grooves and wonderfully subtle playing, Ergo Sum really hits the sweet spot.Sponza is an Italian blues musician that’s been realizing success in collaborative settings. Of Ergo Sum (Latin for “therefore I am”), in the liner notes he says “Human passions have no age. I’ve discovered there’s a trait d’union between the ancient poems of Catullus, Horatius, Martialis, Juvenalis and the lyrics of Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters and Bob Dylan. In a thousand years, the questions will be the same; it could be love, friendship, politics, family… and I’m sure the answers will be the same, too. Because man will never change. Luckily.” Some deep tissue connections here for a blues record.Ergo Sum is also a wonderfully rich sounding album, a deliciously thick sound without being cluttered. It was recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London, with British blues singer Dana Gillespie and guitarist/ vocalist Ian Siegal (North Mississippi Allstars) along to lend Mike a hand at bringing his vision to fruition. The songs deal in typical blues fare, lyrically speak- love, loss, inspiration and the will to keep going- without sounding cliché, which is a pretty deft trick.As Markus Fischer of Onasbruck Radio in Germany notes, this is “a great mix of blues, jazz, soul and gospel, held together by the masterful guitar playing of Mike Sponza.” The playing by all the musicians involved is exquisite, restrained without the feeling that they’re holding back, each player giving the songs exactly what they need- nothing more and nothing less. Ergo Sum has the power and heart of a classic Otis Redding album, it’s is a deep and soulful experience that is absolutely not to be missed.
ESSENTIALS: Modus In Rebus, See How the Man, Prisoner Of Jealousy