OUR GOOD FORTUNE TO BE PART OF JULIAN FAUTH'S WORLD
Keyboard impresario Julian Fauth has been widening his reputation within a variety of settings, and in a smorgasbord of musical groupings. Julian's time spent with the trio Dark Holler is often cited as that moment of first acquaintance. Ken Yoshioka (harmonica) from Dark Holler is heard backing up Julian on "Winter of 99", off Fauth's current CD, 'The World You Live In'.
All thirteen tunes are originals, and several tracks such as the aforementioned, plus "Suicide Note,, "Red Richard," and "You Can't Choose The World You Live In," deal in the stark realities that typify much of urban life today. Fauth's prose paints an unforgiving portrait of mankind's foibles. Those hard-hitting lyrics pull no punches: So be prepared!
Julian knows the happy-go-lucky side of the Blues too, the type that keeps dance floors reverberating, cash registers ringing, and beer taps flowing. Julian has an informative website (www.julianfauth.com), where you can keep track of his crowded schedule. The attractive website also includes some fascinating autobiographical tidbits, including one particularly significant anecdote.
During a 1999 visit to Chicago, Fauth saw the likes of Robert Jr. Lockwood, Henry Townsend, Honeyboy Edwards, and Homesick James--- all in their eighties and playing together at a club called the Hot House. At the end of the show, Julian was invited to sit in for one tune on the piano. Henry Townsend, who'd been recording since 1928, looked over Julian's shoulder and said: "That boy's got the idea."
There've been dozens of other musicians who've heard something special too, including Mel Brown who lent his encouragement back in the 80's at Pop The Gator (a club in Julian's hometown of Kitchener). Humble and diffident, Julian admits he once had to be coaxed onto a stage. Once ensconced there, however, his tentativeness would vanish, and he'd swing those ivories until the break of dawn.
Julian's early days in T.O. were centered on Kensington Market, when storefront clubs were part of the scene: places like Graffiti's, Café Kim, and the Baldwin Street Restaurant. Two musical cohorts from those days are Madagascar Slim, and saxophonist Bob Mover (who's played with Chet Baker and Charles Mingus). The three are re-united on the title track and "Here's the News". Slim (who has opened for Taj Mahal)
contributes some "hell-and-brimstone" guitar licks, while Mover's horn work brims with bravado.
Julian's voice is striking: boisterous yet perceptive. That high falsetto at the end of many phrases is a reminder of the influence of such Blues legends as Howlin' Wolf and Bumble Bee Slim. Fauth also has an intuitive grasp on how to bring out the best in those he's playing behind.
He allows the limelight to fall on a Paul Reddick (leader of the award-winning Sidemen), or a David Rotundo--or whoever. The spur-of-the-moment groove is always the best arbiter of where the attention should be focused. Witness this on several fiery tracks featuring harpist Reddick, including "A Love Like This," "Roaches," and
"Trouble In Paradise."
Fauth/Rotundo are also joined at the hip in a common Blues cause. This charismatic partnership lets loose on the raucous "Caving In", and on Lowell Fulson's "Let Me Ride In Your Automobile". The latter was recorded live at the Concert Hall in Volgagrad during their sensational Russian tour of last year organized by L'Arte owner Andrew Demciuch. The 700-seat shrine was a sell-out, and their performance, along with
bassist Alex Boldyrev, was honored by three tumultuous encores.
Definitive drummers, Bob Vespaziani and Walter Maclean, and a couple of boss bassists, Greg Marshak and Sean Jones, are featured individually on several tracks. The recording is gimmick-free, totally authentic, and was completed at several fine studios including Puck's Farm in Schomberg; and Cherry Beach Sound, Psychospace, Casa Wroxton, and Liquid in Toronto.
As a solo performer Julian does his thing at the Kiwi Kick on Wednesdays, while Mondays find him holding court in a more open-ended format at another Dundas St. W. haven, L'Arte. Don't be surprised if you end up there savosring a show ideal for its intimate surroundings, such as an impromptu jam session with harmonica heavyweight David Rotundo
(who along with his Blues Canadians won last year's TBS Talent Search).
Consider yourself fortunate to live in Toronto, folks, where Julian Fauth's world happens to be "The World You Live In" too.
Artist: Julian Fauth
CD: The World You Live In
Label: a viva l'arte 1
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