ElectroBluesSociety feat Jan Hidding – Rosie (Black & Tan B&T 967)
Jan Hidding is singer with the long-standing Europe an garage blues group The Cuban Heels, here teamed up with the Dutch Black & Tan’s label’s house band (Jasper Mortier on drums and bass and label boss Jan Mittendorp on guitars and effects) for a modern recording of “Rosie”, the prison song recorded by Alan Lomax. The results are nicely gritty, rootsy dance music; but don’t let that last phrase put you off, there’s definitely more than a trace of UK 60s R’n’B. Very interesting indeed…
Blues In The South published a short review from Norman Darwen on the new ElectroBluesSociety single:
Bluesman Roscoe Chenier recorded some fine material for Black & Tan, including this fine a cappella rendition of the old gospel standard, released in 2006.
On this new single download release, ElectroBluesSociety have added a modern, bass heavy musical accompaniment including slide guitar it is actually pretty sympathetic and effective. The track runs to five minutes long, and although purists may sneer, if it brings a new audience to the blues, it will have done its job.
GOIN’ IN CIRCLES ………
The traditional hymn ‘Will The Circle Be Unbroken’ is one of Gospel’s most recorded songs. Soul folk will most probably know and cherish the haunting rendition from the Staple Singers. An equally haunting version was cut by bluesman ROSCOE CHENIER in 2006. His acaplla take was recorded for Black and Tan Records. It was, in fact, the Louisiana born Chenier’s last recording (he died in 2013) and amongst the gospel and blues community it has acquired an almost mythical status. The track has just been reissued by Black and Tan, but for the release they’ve added musical backing from Dutch band, ElectroBluesSociety, the sparseness of which manages to enhance the ethereal quality of Chenier’s original vocal. The single is out now.
ElectroBluesSociety are a Dutch-based “Organic Dance music” duo mixing electronics with raw, vintage live Blues-based sounds; self-described as “two guys and a bunch of junk with a broad taste and an open mind. Together, they are mixing modern technologies with 30+ years of live stage experience.” ElectroBluesSociety (EBS) consists of drummer and bassist Jasper Mortier and guitarist and Black & Tan Records owner Jan Mittendorp. Mortier has worked with the likes of Paul Oscher, Preston Shannon, “Sax” Gordon Beadle, Philip Walker, and Boo Boo Davis, while Mittendorp has toured extensively across Europe & The US with artists such as Percy Strother, Smokey Wilson, Boo Boo Davis, Erskine Oglesby, and Roscoe Chenier. Jan Mittendorp personally, worked with American R&B singer and guitarist Roscoe Chenier for nearly 20 years and released two of his critically-acclaimed albums—Roscoe Style (1998) and Waiting for My Tomorrow (2006)—on Black & Tan Records. Chenier’s rendition of traditional Gospel hymn, “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” was originally released on Waiting for My Tomorrow in sparse, stripped-down acapella form. Now, nearly 12 years after its initial release, Black & Tan Records have properly re-released “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” with a newly-orchestrated backing track arranged by EBS to accompany Roscoe Chenier, who, unfortunately, passed away in 2013. Jan Mittendorp said, in an exclusive statement sent to The Witzard, “Jasper and I and both terrible singers (to put it mildly) but [on the other hand], we love Blues and Roots music, mainly because of the vocals.” Mittendorp enthusiastically continued: “so, instead of doing some bad singing ourselves, we prefer to use something good that is already existing. We have some more projects coming up, where we use new vocal recordings of guest singers that we invited for a recording sessions.” ElectroBluesSociety’s “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” personally, reminds me of Jamie xx’s 2011 full-album remix of Gil Scott-Heron’s 2010 return-to-form I’m New Here, fittingly re-titled We’re New Here. “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” has been released as a digital-only single on Black & Tan Records, now available on Apple Music, Deezer, Soundcloud, Spotify, and similar like-minded digital retailers.
Dutch Blues act ElectroBluesSociety release a hauntingly spectral musical accompaniment to the late Roscoe Chenier’s acapella rendition of gospel standby “Will the Circle Be Unbroken”. Interestingly, ElectroBluesSociety, a Dutch blues act, comprised of Jasper Mortier (drums, bass) and Jan Mittendorp (guitar, production), who worked with Roscoe Chenier on several releases and several European tours decided to pay tribute to their late friend by adding a spectral and moody arrangement Chenier’s vocal that’s appropriately bluesy yet subtly modern, while retaining the timeless vibe of the original vocal take.
Geheel toevallig stootte ik op deze verzamelaar van bluesmuziek die een electrobehandeling kreeg. Electro blues tracks, vol. 4 is blijkbaar al het vierde deel en het smaakt alvast naar meer. De bluesnummers worden aangeleverd door artiesten als Boo Boo Davis, Big George Jackson, Harrison Kennedy en anderen, allen voor mij onbekend. Ook de remixers van dienst (ElectroBluesSociety, miXendorp,…) zijn voor mij nieuwe namen. Maar van elk van hen denk ik: “hm, die moet ik nog eens verder beluisteren”. Ze geven de soms rauwe bluestracks (zoals I’m so tired) een heel moderne feel en vibe en tillen de nummers zo de eenentwintigste eeuw in. Dit compilatie-album is werkelijk een ontdekking én een aanrader.
De ElectroBluesSociety is een stel heren die elektronica mengen met het geluid van echte instrumenten. Deze heren zijn Jasper Mortier (bas, drums) en Jan Mittendorp (gitaar, elektronica). Beiden hebben ruime ervaring in de blues en hebben het podium gedeeld met mensen als Preston Shannon, Philip Walker, Paul Oscher, Boo Boo Davis en Byther Smith om er maar een paar te noemen. In mei doken zij de studio in met harmonicavirtuoos Kim Snelten en het resultaat hiervan is nu als single “Duck” verkrijgbaar. Het is een instrumentaal nummer dat duidelijk bouwt op elektronica. Niets voor bluespuristen, zou je zeggen. Maar in dit geval wordt het goed ingezet en is het als een van de gebruikte instrumenten hoorbaar. Het is een lekker swingend nummer, waarbij vooral de harmonica van Snelten indruk maakt.
Here is what TUNED UP wrote about the new single of ElectroBluesSociety feat Kim Snelten (and we take the aging hippies as a compliment 🙂 ) :
If you’re in the mood for something easy listening but not sleep-inducing, this song hits the spot. I’m not particularly into jam bands but for some reason I got lucky this afternoon when clicking through promo emails. This was the first song in a unread Tuned Up email that popped up, and it’s suiting my Saturday afternoon summer coffee shop mood perfectly. I think this band should play Columbus’ ComFest in the future. All the aging hippies and young guns will love it.
When surveying his history and discography it’s quite clear that David Philips is diversely talented enough to make whatever the hell kind of music he wants to make without any outside help, and make it well. So when this British expat who now call Barcelona, Spain his home locked himself up in a studio last winter to make a more-or-less straightforward rock album, it was going to be interesting to see if this singer-songwriter mostly known for stripped down folk hymns could maintain that notion. Winter, now out from Black and Tan Records, does. It’s a fully produced album, but perhaps ‘fully produced’ only by the standards of roots rock. Philips plays all the instruments, as he always does, but there’s more to play: guitars, bass, drums, lead and background vocals. He puts it all together in a mix that resembles a real band, and wrote eight new tunes that have hooks and riffs, leaving just enough space to let his lead guitarist side flourish. The furry analog blare of “Changes” is immediately inviting to ears attuned to seventies classic rock and the grit quickly dismisses any idea that Philips would go commercial. The soul-infused blues-rock “Mary” is a dead ringer for a Doyle Bramhall II cut, and an occasion for Philips to show what he’s got in the hot licks department. He takes a three-chord riff far on “Rich Man” and goes rural with harmonica and acoustic guitar on the eminently catchy “Home.” And then he shows off Hendrix chops with a dash of Bad Company and Stevie Ray Vaughan thrown in on “The One” (video above) as well as on “Running,” while “Your Way” downshifts to a lilting ballad tempo. The album closer “That’s Alright” seems bound to be all about a heavy guitar riff before unexpectedly encountering a soulful psychedelic interlude laced with ace blues chops. Clocking in at a lean half an hour, Winter concludes maybe a little sooner than we’d like, but that running time was par for course in the vinyl age, and it’s much better to have that old feeling even if it means revisiting one of its small limitations. At least I didn’t have to get up to flip the record over in the middle of it. David Philips has again made music without making any concessions.
David Philips – Winter (Black & Tan B&T 962)
UK born but long based in Spain, David Philips has been working over the last few years as a folk inflected artist for Holland’s Black & Tan Records, one man and a guitar, and so this release for the blues label – David’s sixth, not including a couple of remix tracks – might come as a surprise. It is still a solo effort, but the guitar is electric, blues harmonica crops up occasionally and there is a rhythm section behind David’s excellent vocals. All the songs are David’s of course, he plays all the instruments, and he even provided the cover art. The sound ranges from indie-rock to blues, with comparisons being drawn with Ryan Adams and Doyle Bramhall II; I also hear a little Tom Petty in there too, ‘Running’ opens with a riff a little like Jimi Hendrix’s cover of ‘All Along The Watchtower’ before turning in the direction of Neil Young maybe, and ‘That’s Alright’ recalls early 70s Pink Floyd with a long, space-y passage. Mind you, ‘The One’ is a strong slab of blues-rock. This release contains eight rootsy, hook-laden songs, and if this review has intrigued you, then do check out this release..