Music review: Aaron Lee Tasjan

Singer-songwriter Aaron Lee Tasjan is one to watch
Singer-songwriter Aaron Lee Tasjan is one to watch
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Aaron Lee Tasjan is a little bit country, a little bit rock’n’roll and a whole lot talented. Our first glimpse of this upcoming singer/songwriter was a brief guest spot on guitar during support act Sunny Ozell’s set. Like Tasjan, Ozell glides fluently between genres from warm, rootsy jazz with a bluesy strut to middle of the road balladry to a countrified cover of the Howard Jones hit No One Is To Blame, all accompanied by a band who it seemed could deftly turn their hands to any style.

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Their pan-generic flair was put to good use in Tasjan’s headline set, though he kicked off with a couple of solo numbers, including the droll 12 Bar Blues about hostelries he has loved (or not). But just as you had him pegged as a conversational country character, he brought on the band to join him for some unfettered blues rocking.

Tasjan is a mean guitarist, who taught himself to play learning Oasis songs. Twenty years later, the buzz of playing in the venue where the lairy Mancunians were first discovered was not lost on him. But he can write a song as well as wrangle a fretboard. The lovely, loping country rocker In the Memphis Rain and poppier Little Movies had a simple immediacy but Tasjan was equally adept at wittier, wordier vignettes, all introduced with an entertaining backstory.

He kept some fire in reserve for the end of the set, unleashing the Jack White swagger of The Dangerous Kind and some spectacular, torrid freakout riffing on the epic acid blues of Ready To Die.

FIONA SHEPHERD