When I first started going to Stampen’s übercrowded, legendary, meaty Blues Jam Sessions on saturday afternoons, what struck me the most – aside from the vast amounts of talent on stage – was the diversity. For some reason, Brian Kramer, Le Maitre de Ceremonies, has attracted an uniquely mixed crowd of players: young stratplayers, old hogs with horns in various states of tuning and a few painfully awesome Singer/Songwriters. And among these, I immediately felt some kind of connection to Fanny Holm as I was invited to partake with the old tenor sax (assiduously tuned, I assure you) in a few original compositions one misty saturday in, say, october ’10.
Now I find myself enjoying her latest record; ”Freaks, Oddities and Wonders”, and albeit neither the name, nor the record has anything to do with the Stampen sessions, I can’t help noting that the title well describes the crowd and the feeling at the place.
You can tell from the first few bars alone, that Fanny has been there and done that a few times. She has clearly mastered all the several key crafts of the S/S package. There’s the songwriting – elaborately simple tunes that hold their own against anything in the genre. There’s the playing – straightforward and to the point. There’s the voice – that might best be described by a line from the second track of the album: ”You look pretty when you’re naked, when I can see the scars”. Marianne Faithful meets Dave Johanssen of New York Dolls, perhaps? And the lyrics! She might be a native swede, but you’ll hear nothing of the ”Per Gessle drunk with a Rhyming Dictionary” stuff that pollute the commercial radio. This is poetry, ladies and gentlemen.
All in all, this is a very …complete album, a collection of gems well cut and displayed for what they are. A journey across the all to well known, but seldom as well described, territories of love and life. From the slightly up tempo intro track ”All the stars”, through pensive, slow pieces like ”Guns of Silence” and ”Nothing is Sacred” (the former with beautiful slide guesting by said Kramer, the latter with some stellar harp by Mats Quarfordt and another guest on slide guitar, Christer Lyssarides) to the guitar/voice only ”Strong” and the sad but yet optimistic conclusion ”Moving On”. All well produced by Christer Jonasson at Per Ängkvist’s Real Music Studios.
If you’re into the singing/songwriting kind of music, this album is simply a must. Fanny is up there with the cream of the crop and I can’t help thinking that with this to her credit, she’s really poised to take this to the next level: first Swedish National TV and such, then World Domination.
Curious? Check her up HERE