Tony Loeffler - 1st International Festival Of Christian Music In Cuba

Published Monday 7th October 2019
Tony Loeffler - 1st International Festival Of Christian Music In Cuba
Tony Loeffler - 1st International Festival Of Christian Music In Cuba

STYLE: Latin
RATING 3 3 3
LABEL: Independent
FORMAT: DVD Music video

Reviewed by Lins Honeyman

Following a landmark collaboration with veteran Cuban musician Bobby Carcasses back in 2014, this concert DVD sees seasoned New Jersey singer, evangelist and prison ministry man Tony Loeffler and his old friend once again team up on the latter's home soil. Billed as the first festival of Christian music in Cuba which appears to have taken place in a packed out but very cramped room, this DVD captures a number of heavily-populated acts who all remarkably manage fit onto a miniscule stage. After a short introduction by Loeffler with the help of a translator, proceedings get off to an unpromising start with some ferocious preaching by the lead singer of the somewhat ramshackle Sonido Del Cielo which makes way for some shouty and off-key vocals on an overlong song that goes nowhere and feels like it was rehearsed minutes before the band went on stage. More competent are Armonia who, complete with Cuban rhythms, brass section and the like, give an indigenous feel to the event and are hampered only by migraine-inducing flashing colours on the projector screen behind them. Next up are Generacion De Reconciliacion who are headed up by a young man who unwisely shouts his way through a song despite being in the process of losing his voice before handing over to a band mate who proceeds to read passages from Revelation from her smart phone. Thankfully, Bobby Carcasses - backed by Loeffler's talented Fusion Blues backing band - steps up to partially save the day and begins with some unaccompanied scat singing before showing his sizeable trumpet chops on the evening's undoubted highlight "Lord Jesus Blues" - a piece that was composed specifically for the festival. Fusion Blues sax player Ed Maina then gives a spine-tingling rendition of "Amazing Grace" before Loeffler growls his way through his cod blues take on the same song with an unfortunately out of tune guitar after which the man's backing band launch into a pleasing funk fusion coda which leaves their boss watching on and tapping his guitar in admiration. The presentation of this chaotic concert is equally disorderly with the sound mix all over the place and certain instruments sounding as if they've not been patched through the desk whilst it looks as if the producers have just flung the footage together without much thought in the hope that it will all look ok. Prime examples include focussing in on a technician trying to sort a fallen microphone during a rather fine drum solo from Juan Carlos and using a camera angle that includes said drummer having a conversation with his bassist colleague and taking multiple sticks in and out of his bag whilst Carcasses is doing his solo spot - all of which helps to detract and distract and makes for a somewhat below par souvenir from an undoubtedly God-honouring if haphazard event.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

Interested in reviewing music? Find out more here.

Be the first to comment on this article

We welcome your opinions but libellous and abusive comments are not allowed.

We are committed to protecting your privacy. By clicking 'Send comment' you consent to Cross Rhythms storing and processing your personal data. For more information about how we care for your data please see our privacy policy.