Saturday, January 29, 2011

An Evening at Trasimeno Lake: Live From the Heart of Italy - Ana Popovic (DVD)

By Malcolm Kennedy

Popovic, Ana - An Evening At Trasimeno Lake: Live From The Heart Of Italy
An Evening at Lake Trasimeno was filmed at a concert during the European portion of Ana’s Blind For Love tour supporting her 2009 Eclecto Groove release featuring an eight piece band. The performers consist of a rhythm section of bass, drums, keyboards, percussion, a two piece horn section of sax and trumpet, back ground vocals and Ana on vocals and guitar. There are 14 tracks including five from the new CD, six from Eclecto Groove’s 2007 release Still Making History and with one each off Ana’s two Ruf Records CD’s, 2003’s Comfort To The Soul and 2001’s Hush and a previously un-released cover of the Willie Dixon song “Let Me Love You Babe,” Ana came to by way of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s In Step album. There are also bonus features including a pair of acoustic numbers filmed in the afternoon and a full interview.

Blind For LoveOne of the interesting things the director did was to have scenes periodically either between songs or sometimes fading out of a track with Ana walking around the venue grounds or through the 13th century castle on the site while doing short interview bits rather than just a straight 2 hour concert set. Ana plays tortured slide on the bluesy shuffle “How’d You Learn To Shake It Like That” and does a slow burning blues version of “U Complete Me” both supported by the core band of Ronald Jonker-bass, Andrew “Blaze” Thomas-drums and Michele Papadia-keyboards. This four piece core also performed unassisted on half of the songs including the opening four with the full eight piece outfit joining in on the fifth song and also the last song, The other songs feature configurations with the horns and back-up singer, horns only and six piece with no horns.

Musically Ana covers a lot of ground from gritty blues to bumping funk, blazing blues rock to jazzy acoustic showing as she does on her CD’s that she has many sides to her music. On most of the songs Ana plays her 1964 three tone Sunburst Fender Stratocaster; but on several cuts she switched to her red 1960 Relic, Custom Shop Strat with white pick guard. She comes out dressed in black leather pants, sleeveless top bangles, rings and her signature arm jewelry and almost knee high studded stiletto heel boots. She follows this with “Blind For Love” also acoustic with the addition of the sax and trumpet. On “Recall The Days” from her Comfort To The Soul CD Ana plays blistering solos while Ronald is particularly animated on the bass.

The interview in the bonus feature gives some interesting insight of how Ana balances raising her 2 ½ old year son Luuk with touring and recording. There are also two solo acoustic tracks filmed in the afternoon at various places on location at the castle showing some of the spectacular views at this beautiful site. An Evening at Trasimeno Lake is well filmed and produced; the sound quality, filming angles and edits are all top notch and they provide song titles on screen at the start of each song.

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