Friday, 23 May 2014

Ben & Carmen Steneker - Remember Me

Ben & Carmen Steneker - Remember Me (2013)
 One of the most captivating acts doing American style country music in Europe, is without a doubt Ben & Carmen Steneker, a father-daughter duo that has captured the hearts and minds of just about everyone that hears them sing. Ben has been a mind-catcher on both sides of the Atlantic for many many years, captivating American fans as well as European. Daughter Carmen grew up listening to her father sing, as well as his many friends that performed with and for him in his own club in Holland. Yes, Holland. That's where Ben and Carmen are from. It's continually amazing to hear this delightful duo sing songs that have an immediate 'connect' to what real traditional and classic country music is all about. You hear it instantly when the accordion breaks out the beautiful song "Come Back To Ireland." The harmony by father-daughter just simply cannot be topped. Dutch country music songwriter Dick van Altena contributes three amazing songs to this CD project. It continually amazes me that this combination of Dutch songwriter and Dutch singers can capture the spirit and soul of what country music is all about. Ben's voice is better than ever, and the incredible 'touch' Carmen adds to it is amazing. Backing music is also incredibly good throughout this entire project. The title song "Remember Me" starts softly with a harp-sounding intro, letting simplicity take the listener to the ultimate of sophistication. My favorite song of all the great songs on this album is "My Dixie Darling," without a doubt. Done to perfection, the harmony is exactly as it should be by Appalachian standards, or Alabama, or Georgia, or Mississippi, or Florida, or wherever you might be in the southern United States. Perfect guitar pickin' and a stunning background Dobro. The whole CD speaks loudly of the professionalism and devotion this pair of country singers has for this genre of music. Holland should be very proud of these excellent vocalists and performers of a musical genre that rings and sings around the world. I also like the closing song "Victorie In View" which was written by Ben and Carmen and has some great honky-tonk piano in it