Mike Sponza & Central European Orchestra | Album Review

mikesponzacdMike Sponza & Central European Orchestra (CD & DVD Combo)

Epopos Music Switzerland



13 Original Tracks/73:43

Mike Sponza is a European musician that plays guitar, sings, and composes unique music. This CD & DVD combo was released to highlight and celebrate 30 years of passion for the music. Sponza bought his first guitar in 1983 and has never looked back. With a wide resume of playing international festivals and club gigs, Mike has managed to make his own sound and stays committed to being new, fresh and original.

A style that is best described as blues and soul, Sponza has been a pioneer for blues in Central Europe since his first release in 1997.  Releasing a CD & DVD together give the listener a unique experience of seeing what they are hearing. The 30-piece orchestra provides a real blues experience that is vibrant including percussions, cellos, brass, violins, and backing vocals. It is a project that took Mike three years to bring it on stage including writing all the arrangements for orchestra, trying to find the chance to perform. The final showcases ends up being in Trieste, Italy on a rainy night at a blues festival.

What is even more interesting than the CD alone, the crowd during the live DVD performance is absolutely respectful. They are fairly quiet during the songs and clap and the end of each tune. It is very refreshing to see an audience actually pay attention to the music, show, and entertainment. With so many talented performers on stage and the elaborate set up, it is impossible not to appreciate the workmanship.

A few mentionable songs include “You”, “Out Of My Mind”, and “Anxiety”.

“You” is a song composed of pleading lyrics and great horn accompaniment. A tale of dare I say love or lust and needing someone. A nicely placed middle of the song guitar solo and piano will leave the listener wanting more.

“Out Of My Mind” is a jazzy tune with a powerful opening. Of course, it seems to be a song about a woman. The orchestra shines on this track with horns, strings, and strong vocals by Sponza. Not sure what it is but women, men, and blues seems to go together. Many tales have been told and I am quite sure many more to come!

“Anxietyhas an¬†entrancing string into that is quite catchy. All of us, at one time or another have been able to relate to these lyrics. Lying in bed, tossing and turning with the mind running wild is surely the blues!

According to his website, Sponza plays different venues and plans to continue make appearances. Last year Mike played over 70 live performances, so keep an eye out!

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