Ben Granfelt, My Soul To You, 2018

ben granfelt - my soul to youRegular readers of the blog will know that I am not that big on blues. Infuse that with rock, and it gets another story. Especially when the guitar player loves Jimi Hendrix and has a great tone in his finger to show it. And reading through the press sheet, I understand why; as it turns out, mister Granfelt is one busy dude and has already released 15 solo albums before this, played with Wishbone Ash and Leningrad Cowboys to name a few, and thus has been making his living from music for over 30 years!

And now onto the songs. There are 10 on the album, clocking in at a good 40 minutes. First song Weight Of The World already shows that strat tone that reminds me of Hendrix. And somehow it also reminds a bit of Toto’s Steve Lukather. Very good moody soloing too. On This Is Love (PJ Harvey) his wife Jasmine takes over on lead vocals and does that very adequate. They share vocals on Fuel To Burn, and that works great as well. The title track is blessed with more great playing and melodies that lift the song up. A Better Place is another gem with great riffs and an upbeat energy that is hard to resist. And on My Heroine the lead vocals are handled by Bryn Jones, whose smokey tones add nicely to the mood.

So even when some tracks are deep into the blues, the overall sound and energy and especially the great playing makes me enjoy this very much. A damn fine album in the genre!

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Dudley Taft, Summer Rain, 2017

dudley taft - summer rainWith a family tree heavily present in politics (senators, governors and even a president), becoming a guitar player is probably not the most obvious career choice. Yet Taft chose that path and never looked back. So after playing and touring with Trey Anastasio (Phish), Sweet Water and Second Coming, he is now releasing his fifth album under his own name. With influences ranging from ZZ-Top to The Cult to Jimi Hendrix.

And while I must confess I had never heard of the guy (sorry man), I must confess that if this album is anything to go by, we have been missing something here in Europe. Or at least I have. Because, even when it speaks of being dedicated to the blues, I have found this to be a pretty bad ass rocking album. And in my book that is a good thing!
So expect the songs to rock and rock with power. Yes, extended solos all over the place, but nothing of what I would consider typical blues. Even if that could be contributed to me never listening to pure blues albums. 🙂 This is 11 songs and over 52 minutes and authentic music, delivered with passion. Very melodic, varied and energetic. No dull slow 12 bar blues that lasts way too long in sight! (Not that there is anything wrong with that if you like it, it’s just not my cup of tea)

A very convincing and pleasant acquaintance, let it rain!

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Kamchatka, The Search Goes On, 2014

kamchatka - the search goed onDon’t ask why, but somehow I was under the impression that this would be a progressive rock band. Well, it is not. Instead what we have here is a band that is firmly rooted in seventies blues (hard) rock. And one that is good at that too. Which will not come as a surprise since we are dealing with Swedes and everybody knows they are always good at what they do. Something with water and education or something like that, I don’t know 🙂

To give you a reference, think Rory Gallagher at his rocking best. In this shape I really dig this type of music. It comes with a lot of melody and energy, the guitars rock, and the songs groove. So no dull standard blues schemes in too low tempo’s singing about mannish boys. (there is a time and place for that, but in this house just not very often, sorry, hope I offended no one) This is fun! Sometimes a bit of psychedelia added, and overall this has a timeless feel and a high octane party value. Impossible to sit still during playback, and also enough variety to hit play again after song 10 has come to an end. I say, search no more if you like your rock a bit bluesy, or need your blues to rock!

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