(SACD-HYBRID) Vanessa Fernandez covers Led Zeppelin classics in an "unplugged" style. Featuring Tim Pierce (guitar/slide guitar), Chris Chaney (bass), Jim Cox (keyboards), Jim Keltner (drums), Luis Conte (percussion) and Charlie Bisharat (violin). Brilliant rhythm guitar and solos from arranger-guitarist Tim Pierce including an extended electric guitar solo on the rock version of "Whole Lotta Love" as well as killer vintage slide work on "When The Levee Breaks;" awesome drumming and majestic kick drum work from Jim Keltner on "Kashmir," "Babe" and "Immigrant Song;" driving electric bass lines from Chris Chaney on many of the tracks; memorable B3 and Wurlitzer fills and runs from keyboardist Jim Cox.
Audacious violin solos and fills from Charlie Bisharat on "Kashmir" and "Immigrant Song."
Last but in no way least, stirring percussion backing from the great Luis Conte on "When The Levee Breaks," "Black Dog" and "Whole Lotta Love" (acoustic). And throughout every song the magnificent incomparable vocals of Vanessa. The vocal performance on "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" is gonna leave some listeners breathless!!
Recent Audio Press:
1. "Much of the album is acoustic, but songs like "Kashmir" with Jim Keltner on drums, rocks out big time. These are fresh arrangements by guitarist Tim Pierce whose playing credits include session work with Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Johnny Van Zant, Meat Loaf, Patty Smith, Joe Cocker, Michael Jackson, Joan Armatrading, Madonna, Tina Turner, Rod Stewart, Roger Waters, Eric Clapton, The Doobie Brothers, Elton John, Alice Cooper and others. The instrumental performances add new luster to the old chestnuts. Old fans will enjoy the new musical environment and some non-Led Zep fans will be won over."
"Most importantly, Ms. Fernandez, a long time Led Zep fan, has the vocal chops and the sensibility to wrap her cords tightly around the lyrics and wring new meaning from them. From what I got to hear later on a lacquer, the performances and the sonics will drop your jaws and maybe even your pants!" - Michael Fremer, analogplanet.com
2. "This album boasts top-notch production quality, including an all-analog recording, mastering by Bernie Grundman, and all-star cast of studio musicians....take a huge, billowing sound, scale it down, have a woman sing some very male-centric songs, and see what happens. The best cuts succeed for different reasons. Drummer Jim Keltner and bassist Chris Chaney lay down a killer groove on 'Kashmir,' where violinist Charlie Bisharat adds a wild streak; he also brings some edginess to 'Immigrant Song.' Instead of swagger, Fernandez uses sly seduction to state her case on 'Black Dog." - Jeff Wilson, The Absolute Sound
3. "As with its predecessor, When the Levee Breaks is all analog; engineer Michael Ross recorded to 30ips 1/4" tape. In every sonic sense, it is an extraordinary recording, with vast dynamic range along with inherent smoothness, weight and presence. All of this applies to the hybrid SACD. This is demo material in either format."
"On its face, When the Levee Breaks has some huge obstacles to overcome, especially among audiophiles who are familiar with great-sounding recordings of questionable music worth. Because of this, its achievement is even more impressive. It defies expectations in so many ways; you'll want to play it for friends and family, in order to show off your system, and you'll want to listen to it yourself when only some Zeppelin in vivid state-of-the-art sound will do." - Marc Mickelson, The Audio Beat, 4/5 Music, 5/5 Sound!!!