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4.6 out of 5 stars
136
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 1 June 2013
...is that when you go down, there will always be someone to lift you up again.

Seesaw dips further into the world of traditional vocal jazz with slower tempos and more restrained string arrangements than Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa's previous collaboration Don't Explain, which had more country and soul influences. Ms Hart's performance is smoother too. Anyone expecting the raw rasping vocals that are the trademark of her blues output might be disappointed. I emphasise might. Her performance suits the material, and the difference between a good singer with an interesting voice and a great singer is that they can choose exactly how much of a technique they want to use in a given performance. Her love for the material shines on this record with songs like Them There Eyes and Seesaw sounding sweet and bright, while Close To My Fire and If I Tell You I Love You have a rich, smooth late-night-in-a-smokey-jazz-club quality to them. And if you listen to the way she uses a sharp sustained notes in the final verses of Strange Fruit to reenforce the brooding sadness of the song, you will discover what a clean, powerful singer she can be.

Joe Bonamassa too is showing what a craftsman he is. He long ago dispensed with need to wow people with guitar histrionics and instead delivers tight guitar breaks and interesting rhythm and accompanying parts that bolster the vocal performance. It's fascinating to see him experimenting with funk and acoustic blues on his last few records and now traditional Jazz on this. (I have reached the point where I buy his new releases on spec, and I've yet to be disappointed.) That's not to say that there aren't good solos on this album though. The one on I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know is impassioned blues at it's best, as is the more restrained one emerges from the guitar atmospherics at the close of Strange Fruit. But on this record you are more likely to notice the snap of his opening riffs on Nutbush City Limit, and his rhythm work on Can't Let Go, where slide guitar drives the song throughout. The adjectives usually applied to slide guitar like `blistering,' or `howling' don't fit here. It's a warm, rich, vocal sound, that is as smooth as velvet.

I guess that sums up the album. Its warm, smooth and comfortable to listen to, with surprising depth when you start digging into it. If you enjoyed Warren Haynes' Man In Motion album, you will like this. If you long for a gritty blues work out like Sloe Gin or Leave the Light On, you might wonder where the fire went. Well it's banked up, low but alive under the cinders, suffusing the album with a warm glow.

With Seesaw, I went for the vinyl version, and the artwork in the style of older Jazz album covers is pretty good. A nicely illustrated inner sleeve has notes from Beth Hart about some of the songs. The 180g pressing is clean and very quiet (important on tracks like Strange Fruit), but it seems a little tight round the centre post of my turntable. Like other Provogue records it's priced so you can buy this with a download from your supplier of choice, which on balance might be better than asking for more and including a download code inside. There are so many choices of how to get your music now it's hard to find a package that suits every listener. I still prefer a download paired with vinyl, but a spotify subscription probably fills that need for a lot of people.

If you are fan of either artist, this album is worth a look, as it's suitably different from their solo output. But if you are interested in superb vocal jazz and blues, thats when it becomes an essential purchase.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 22 May 2013
Joe on guitar, Beth singing - what could go wrong? Answer: nothing. This is a superb follow up to their first collaboration. I agree with another reviewer, Beth's version of Nutbush is really exciting, every bit as good as the original. Buy it.
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on 21 May 2013
Beth and Joe's second release together and it doesn't disappoint.
I don't think there's a weak track on this album which is no surprise given both artists pedigree. Add a fantastic backing band comprising of some of the best musicians out there and you can't go wrong.
Another great selection of tunes for Beth to belt out in her unmistakable style. It can only be a matter of time before Beth's career goes into the stratosphere she has to be one if not the best female singers out there.
It really makes me sick when you see the crap that we get fed on from the endless talent shows out there, (Did I say talent), yet artists like Beth get overlooked. I recommend you catch her live if you get a chance you wont be disappointed, believe me.
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on 26 April 2017
great cd
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on 9 March 2017
I can't imagine Beth and Joe doing anything together that isn't great. They deliver with more wonderful covers on See Saw. This is a well pressed vinyl album that's full of sound and very quiet on the noise side.
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on 2 November 2013
I love listening to music but recently have not found anything mildly interesting. However that all changed today when I discovered this amazing album. Beth has an incredible voice and the guitar, well, sheer heaven to listen to. If you are as bored as I am with the same old rubbish you will find this as refreshing as I have. I really cannot understand why Beth is not as big as she deserves to be, her voice is truly phenomenal.
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on 4 June 2013
More bluesy and swingy than previous outing and has some great tracks. Across the album it has tracks for all, with very faithfully version of nutbush city limits, which highlights Joe's guitar. Overall this reflects Joes brilliance on the guitar across various music types beyond what he has become famous for. Beth vocals are polished and a perfect counter to Joes guitar especially on some of the slower numbers. An all round winner....
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on 28 March 2017
Rock chick and the main man!!
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VINE VOICEon 24 May 2013
I thought that the original collaboration between Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa in 2011 was a class act and that it would be a hard one to better - BUT, my goodness me, these two are absolutely steaming on this album and whereas "DON'T EXPLAIN" had Joe pretty much down in the mix, leaving the rest of the musicians to shine, on "SEESAW" he comes very much to the fore with some compelling solos!
Certainly, this new album is much more in the line of the Big Band sound of Blues/Jazz/Swing a la Jools Holland but there are some real crackers here that make you sit up and listen including "Nutbush City Limits" sung with fire and passion as only (or so I thought) Tina Turner could manage with Beth truly belting out those lyrics!
Other highlights include "Close To My Fire" and "I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know" with Joe's steamy, sinewy solo as a real treat for blues guitar fans, but really, there is nothing but excellent musicianship, songcraft and passion sitting in the 11 tracks presented here - and if you're quick about it, you can pick up the special edition with bonus DVD including 3 music videos and interviews with both Beth and Joe and the rest of the people involved with the making of this album and "consumate" and "professional" are the two abiding words to sum this package up.
If you love the blues in all of it's forms then you'll love this album but even if you don't actually love this genre, the magic that comes across in the interchange between these two stars you will still find most infectious and entertaining!
A must for any serious music collector!
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on 21 May 2013
Beth and Joe have done it again. This effervescent follow up album to the exquisite Don't Explain is again stellar, yet more upbeat, high energy, soulful and rockin. No sophomore slump here. Beth & Joe have hit their stride and perhaps are even more in tune with working together on the second go around.

A classy choice of songs have been selected, previously recorded by Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Billie Holiday, Donnie Hathaway, Lucinda Williams, Buddy Miles, Tina Turner, Slackwax, Melody Gardot, and Nina Simone. From big band sounds, to sultry ballads, to balls out growl and howl, to French inspired with Arlan Schierbaum on accordion. Somehow the diversity of the songs are tied together to make a cohesive whole. Anton Fig gives a powerhouse performance on drums with the rest of the excellent band Blondie Chaplin and Carmine Rojas rounding everything out.

Vintage songs and in a sense vintage recording as well. Producer Kevin Shirley's method of recording live in the studio with the entire band playing together is the antithesis of so much of today's manipulated and computerized music. This band is interacting with each other and having FUN - and you can hear it in the music! Later in the process the horns by Lee Thornburg and Ron Dziubla are added as well as the strings by Jeff Bova which just takes everything to yet another level.

Beth Hart not only has an effing astounding voice, but the ability to truly connect with the material and make it her own, then communicate the emotion behind it. Joe Bonamassa augments the songs and compliments Beth's vocals perfectly with tasteful guitar work that is restrained in places and in some places he really lets loose. He shines on the solo at the end of I Love You More than You'll Ever Know with bluesy, soulful work.

Stunning record. Brilliantly done. Guaranteed to brighten your day. One of the best albums of the year. A big sassy bitch of an album!
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