Grant Haua: Mana Blues

“Those familiar with my music will notice this album is a lot different from previous releases which were written around the acoustic guitar. I often ask myself if it is a mistake to release an electric album (and a pretty heavy one at that) but in the end I thought what the hell you only live once!“

“Being Generation X these songs are heavily influenced by that period which I consider in pop/rock history, musically arguably the best. I know it will probably be criticized for being too “old fashioned” by some but I can honestly say I’ll take that as a compliment as my musical “D.N.A” is defined by that period in time.”

“The songs about war on this album (“Pukehinahina” and “Embers”) are also a departure from the norm as a writer for me. These are serious topics which I normally steer clear of having not known the horror of it personally, but I’m glad I did. Researching the battle of Pukehinahina filled me with a sense pride that brought me to tears on occasion from the sheer badassery of what my tipuna (ancestors) achieved. This song moves me completely and no doubt that the amazing contribution of Mathieu and Laurent from The Inspector Cluzo brings even more rage to that piece of music.”

“In regards to Embers, walking the war museums that laid bare the atrocities of the Holocaust and standing on the beaches of Normandy I felt an incredible mix of sadness, loss, but also pride, awe and respect for men long in the ground, many of whom are tipuna as well-now. If that’s not worthy of a song I don’t know what is!”

“As I’m writing this the war in Ukraine rages on: when the fuck will we ever learn! The rest of the album is my standard fare all be it electrified, hope you enjoy it!“

For the rest, this album leans more towards Grant Haua’s usual standards, albeit in a more “electrified” form. These are tracks that he considers essential to him. Whether he’s singing about love (“Jealousy”, “To Be Loved”), paying homage to the greats (“Billie Holiday”, “Bad Mofo”, a stunning cover of Blind Willie Johnson’s “My Time Of Dying” previously magnified by Led Zeppelin), expressing the daily pains of the soul and/or body (“Aches”, “Blame It On Monday”), or simply searching for the simple things in life (“Good Stuff”). In short, everything that contributes to the alchemy of a magnificent album and confirms that Grant Haua definitively belongs to that group of artists who possess that “extra something” which only the greatest artists have!  


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