Gone Is My Mind, Lil' Esther and her Tin Stars 
Empire Records EMP-CD-109

This review might be just a little "coloured" with a pink shade, because I am a big fan of this band. I have met Rick personally on several occasions, he's really a great guy, and Little Esther, well she's kinda like the sweetest thing on earth. But the main issue is of course: they make great music! Well, you can read all about the Tin Stars and Lil' Esther elsewhere on our website, so I'm gonna skip the bio-stuff and get right on with the review of this new CD.

The album starts with "My Heart Gets Lonely" and I am immediatly caught by Esther's wonderful voice. She does that to me everytime. Patsy Cline and Marty Brom did that to me too, just so you know at what level we're dealing here. Yes, I know, it's not all rockabilly, the music is a mix of the 40's and 50's era, like Esther did already with the Bugaloos. But she sings with so much feeling, I'm pretty sure that even the hardcore rockers will dig her. I even like "Mr. Sun", even though it has a bit of steel guitar in it (constant readers know what I think of steels in rockabilly music).

"Love That Man" was written by Robert "Big Sandy" Williams, who also wrote the next track "Confusin' Love". "Small Change" is a treat penned by Johnny Lewis (Johnny Bach) and is entwined with some pretty neat Blues Harp. Lil' Esther can carry any song with her voice. Some tracks were written by Fabrice "Don" Cavalli, so we got some pretty well known names on this disc.

Well, I'm not going through every song with ooh's and aah's, I guess you figured out by now that I like this album pretty much. And it's not just Esther's vocals, the Tin Stars are a pretty darn good band too. Whether you like the mix of styles, I leave that up to you, but musically this album is in perfect order and I'm proud that they are from Holland!

The band:
Lil' Esther - Vocals
Ervin Pass-Garland - Lead Guitar
Rick De Bruijn - Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
Ramblin' Pete Crowfield - Double Bass
Yves Vaillant - Drums

(Actually, these are still the same guys, they just have funny names now)

Guest musicians:
Ronald Visser - Piano
Arnold Lasseur - Mandoline
Joost van Es - Fiddle
Rini Goldini - Steel Guitar & Harmonica
Judith van den Berg - Backing Vocals

My Heart Gets Lonely / Mr. Sun / Love That Man / Confusin' Love / Small Change / I've Got A Lot Of Time To Do A Lot Of Things / Gone Is My Mind / True Or False / Rock Till My Baby Comes Home / I've Got The Boogie Woogie Blues / Arguments And Alibis / There's No Right Way To Do Me Wrong / I've Had Enough / Treat Me Kind

Contact Information:
Lil' Esther and her Tinstars
Westhovenplein 111
2532BE Den Haag (The Hague)
The Netherlands
Phone: +31 (0)70 3670829


Empire Benelux (Benelux & Central Europe)
PO Box 264
4380 AG Vlissingen
The Netherlands


Reviewed by The BlackCat, 2008