The good news about Flow - the concept of comprising a range of several styles remains the same.
You will find rock, soul, blues, funk and americana and it all fits together and harmonizes well.
It goes without saying that all songs are again written by the singer and arranged by The Lightning Rod.
As the lineup of the band has changed, their style has gone back to the roots and has become bluesier.
Reinhard Höbart has switched from the drums to the guitar and you can tell he grew up with the blues on the guitar,
Didi Mattersberger, a solid blues drummer is adding his part to the sound.
Some of the songs on this CD have been out there for a while. They’ve been truly tested and we’ve been waiting impatiently for them to find their way onto the 3rd Album.
They finally made it.
Flow starts with "Never look back", a rock song followed by the blues "I wish you'd care". The blues harp player on this song is Susanne Plahl, by the way.
On the ballad "Love song" the guest player Matthias Ihrybauer surprises with his instrument, the bagpipes.
The title song "Flow" displays again the rocky side of the band. As the title suggests, the simple chords are flowing while Christoph Kögler is contributing with his keyboard solo and Susanne on the blues harp.
It’s followed by "Sometimes changes are good" where Constanze Höffinger begins with a soulful bass riff. "Full moon" is doubtless the grooviest song with its rousing beats and a solo featuring Reinhard Höbart on guitar in collaboration with Christoph Kögler on keyboards. The next song "Please, don't let me down" leads us into a totally different mood. The tune’s pleading tone is wrapped up in a sustained gospel sound. With "You are now" we are back on the optimistic side and get to hear the funky part of the band grooving around the idea of living in the present, as does the first tune "Never look back" suggests. Then again the upbeat number "Step back" where Reinhard plays a driving Solo on guitar, is a true Rock song with a political message going out to the mindless leaders of this globe.
"Walking on thin ice" - maybe americana style - captivates with its melodious line and it's harmonious backing vocals. It should be noted that on this 3rd album the lead vocalist also sings all backing vocals except for "Walking on thin ice" where Christoph Kögler contributed his backing part as well.
We are flowing into the last tune "Right on" representing an atmospheric picture culminating with Christoph Köglers high spirited keyboard outro.
THE SECOND ALBUM
Susanne Plahl continues her way of presenting her own songs on Colours with a diverse range of compositions in different genres emanating from blues and returning to it. And with the new line up of The Lightning Rod, she has found a great band to bring out the best in this album.
With “Skyscraper” and “Restless Blues,” Texas blues meets acoustic blues.
While Stephan Kutscher plays the rocky, edgy and whining sounds on his guitar, the guest musician, Herby Dunkel, displays his impressive talents in a more traditional way with his slide guitar on Restless Blues. Gerri Lülik on harp and Benji Hösel on his upright bass give this song the required ambience.
The thoughtful slow blues “I Could Not Read,” which is perhaps reminiscent of a slow ZZ Top song, is followed by the funky “A Simple Thing” and the title song “Colours” which talks about the necessity of tolerance towards others.
After listening to a true rock song “Mr. Caveman,” where the singer displays her talents on the blues harp, and the ballad “A River Runs Dry,” accompanied on a single piano by Christoph Kögler, you will be impressed by the singers ability to display very subtle tones and vulnerability.
“Music In My Dreams” can be taken as a hymn to life with music in the style of the ‘60s.
It also describes Susanne Plahl’s musical influences when she was a girl until the time she turned into a young woman.
“You Taste So Good” turns out to be a rocky song followed by the blues rock ballad “Blues In My Soul.”
After “Close To You” - again Texas Blues - you hear “A Little Is Not Enough” sounding like a rock song in a retro style, maybe comparable to a song by Manfred Mann’s Earth band.
Steve Criss arranged the backing vocals, as on her debut album “Brand New Recipe,” and sings the backing vocals together with Susanne.
The final cut goes far back to the roots of Blues.
Accompanied by Stephan Kutscher with simple strums on the acoustic guitar, Gerri Lülik plays along with his blues harp underlining the protesting lyrics.
With the young and gifted talents of Constanze Höffinger on bass and Reinhard Höbart on drums, the band has a strong rhythm section guiding through this album.
The bonus track “Blues In My Soul” features guest musician, Herby Dunkel, on guitar, Benji Hösel, on upright bass and the internationally acclaimed drummer, Peter Müller.
In the blues world, the song follows a different pattern (it is reduced to fewer notes) and rounds up the entire picture of this colourful album.
THE FIRST ALBUM
Brand New Recipe
With her debut album she dished out blues spiced up with styles coming from soul, southern rock, country and funk. The entire album leans a bit more to acoustic blues when compared with the second album Colours.
With Brand New Recipe you will find a tightly orchestrated guitar sound combined with a sometimes fragile timbre in Susanne's voice reflecting the meaning of her songs. Soon after this album was released she was awarded "Best Blues & Roots singer by the Concerto Poll" while Brand New Recipe won third place in the category of “Best Blues & Roots Album”.