With her debut solo album Ya Nass (2013), Yasmine Hamdan introduced her personal, modern take on Arabic pop. In Al Jamilat (‘The Beautiful Ones’), she pursues her musical exploration, while taking a look at the mutations at work within the Arab world. While Yasmine’s vocals are definitely connected to traditions of Arabic music (to which she takes an unconventional and fresh approach), the structures and arrangements of the songs are very remote from its codes, and take in elements from contemporary Western electronic, pop and folk music.
At Home Next Door is a double CD set: the first CD, At Home With the Blues, looks back over Al Basile's 14 year catalogue with Sweetspot and focuses on his blues songs; the second, Next Door to the Blues, is a brand new collection of songs that use the blues as a foundation but build into other forms, with a focus on a 60s Memphis soul and gospel sound. The common denominator through both discs is Duke Robillard as producer and guitarist, and Al Basile as singer, songwriter, and cornetist, but former Roomful of Blues bandmates abound, along with guests ranging from harmonica aces Jerry Portnoy and Sugar Ray Norcia to jazz great Scott Hamilton. Produced by Duke Robillard, administered by BUG.