The Beez ‘Look What They’ve Done To My Song’ CD Review by John Williams
The Beez are currently touring Australia and headlining at major folk festivals. They are accomplished musical comedians who will entertain you until the last second on stage. The Beez hail from Germany and have travelled the World with their unique slant on music. This CD is a delight from beginning to end. No CD captures the stage craft of an act like the Beez but it is a great reminder of what you have seen and lets you take a little bit home with you. The Beez founder is Deta Cordelia Rayner. Her passion is Eastern European music and this is a major influence on the band. She plays the accordion, melodica, glockenspiel and kalimba. Jule Schroeder plays the electric bass guitar. Peter D’Elia plays dobro guitar while Rob Rayner plays steel string guitar and mandolin. All members of the band contribute to the vocals. After hearing the band’s take on the classic songs of various artists you may never be able to listen to the originals again. A couple of examples will suffice. They do a bluegrass/middle eastern take on Talking Heads ‘Psycho Killer’ and a new musical genre they call Country and Eastern version of Tammy Wynette’s ‘Stand By Your Man’. Both are very entertaining although I do miss that classic guitar riff from Tammy’s song. It doesn’t sound quite the same on a mandolin! Throw in Madonna’s ‘Music’, Kylie Minogue’s ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’, Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Go Your Own Way’, Kiss’s ‘I was Made For Loving You’, Led Zeppelin’s ‘Gallow’s Pole (Trad), Kool and the Gang’s ‘Fresca’ and even a Germanic folk song version of the Jimmy Hendrix classic ‘Purple Haze’ and you can see no one is safe. As the band say about the Hendrix parody in their notes there has been a wholesale plunder of Afro-American music by white artists over the years but they think this was the only occasion when an African –American (Hendrix) ‘borrowed’ from the European tradition. Funny stuff indeed! There is even an original song written by Peter D’Elia, ‘The Dink Donk Song,’ which makes you want to hear more original work. If you have the chance to catch the Beez while they are here then do so. If you can’t then purchase the CD and imagine being there. You won’t be disappointed.
About the artist: The Beez have furnished their house with musical bric-a-brac from around the world, a potpourri of moving, silly, deep and sometimes meaningless pop and rock songs. The Beez are at home on any stage and travel light; four voices, two acoustic guitars, and acoustic bass and an accordion, and it has to be said more than a few costumes. The Beez are renowned as excellent hosts, serving lavish lashings of humour and musicality guaranteed to charm every audience. Their program in the house is like a luxury penthouse on the roof of pop and rock history in which everyone finds a sunny room with a view.