Posted on

SomethingElse reviews ElectroBluesSociety feat Boo Boo Davis

A couple of months ago I told y’all about this EP that vintage bluesman Boo Boo Davis put out with ElectroBluesSociety sensibly titled Chicago Blues Covers. This makeshift trio (Davis, guitarist Jan Mittendorp and drummer Jasper Mortier) made a mess of covers of electric blues standards charged by the retro-modern studio finagling of the ElectroBluesSociety and the sheer aura of one Boo Boo Davis. And they laid down the tracks for these songs all in one afternoon in 2018. Now we learn that their label KuvVer Records has dropped another track from apparently that same session, Howlin’ Wolf’s “Killing Floor.” Boo Boo’s rendition carries the same machismo as Wolf’s but aside from that, it sounds almost like a wholly different song. If anything, the analog-y, reverb-drenched sonics of this two year-old recording sounds even more ancient than the fifty-six year-old original and Mortier keeps the song lively with a booming backbeat. Davis voice echoes from the bottom his soul but his blues harp shouts louder and authoritatively. Even if you’ve heard this song a thousand times before, your experience with it isn’t complete without hearing ElectroBluesSociety and Boo Boo Davis tackle it. They give old blues back its youthful vitality because they know how to make it brash and raw.

Posted on

review from Croatia

Činjenica je da sa starim, provjerenim bluesmanom teško možete “fulati”. Nizozemski duo ElectroBluesSociety feat. Boo Boo Davis EP-jem “Chicago Blues Covers” objavljenim 31. svibnja preko izdavačke kuće KuvVer Records zapravo ne bježe od svoje životne i glazbene priče. Drugo je pitanje koliko su u svemu tome uspjeli…


EP “Chicago Blues Covers” je zapravo okupljena kolekcija singlova koji su nastali tijekom 2018. i 2019. za europske turneje Boo Boo Davisa. Naime, eksperimentalni elektro blues duo ElectroBluesSociety ušli su u studio i nakon tri sata svirke dobili smo sedam skladbi koje su objavljivane kao singlovi a sada su svi izdani kao ovaj EP. Chicago blues spajan s elektro bluesom a sve kroz poznate blues standarde dali su više–manje uspješne rezultate. Što to znači? U nekim odabranim pjesmama ovaj spoj je bio uspješan i nadahnut, u drugim je ostao pomalo sterilan i nedorečen. A sve ovisi opet na koji način se doživljava i reaktivira cijela ova glazbena priča.
Chicago blues klasici Howlina’ Wolfa i Elmorea Jamesa teško da mogu “fulati”, mogu samo biti, da to tako napišem, sterilni i pomalo nedorečeni u glazbeno-prezentacijskoj formi. Pred nama je zapravo nastojanje da se uglazbi staro i novo, tradicionalno i moderno i da onda sve to ostavi upečatljivi dojam kod slušatelja. Moram priznati da je taj glazbeni projekt ostavio uglavnom dobar dojam na mene osobno, što ne znači da će svi to doživjeti na taj način.


Davis je rođen i odrastao u gradiću Drew, u srcu Delte. Znamo da je cijelo to područje bogato pamukom, koji je zahtjevao puno radne snage, među baš tim radnicima, bilo je dosta sjajnih glazbenika, koji su obilježili blues kao glazbeni stil. Primjerice, Charley Patton samo je jedan od njih. Ljudi su trebali da ih netko odmakne od teškog rada, od sunca, znoja, i da im u smiraj dana ponudi nešto što će ih oraspoložiti i dati im snage za novi radni dan. To je zapravo bila glavna zadaća glazbenika koji su izvodili blues, boogie, R&B i sve ono što ima dodirnih točaka s ovim glazbenim pravcima. Od najranijeg djetinjstva Boo Boo okružen je glazbom, crkvenim pjevanjem, a njegov otac Sylvester Davis, osim što je bio nadničar, svirao je s imenima kao što su John Lee Hooker, Elmore James i Roberta Pete Williams. Nije čudno što Davis Jr. pamti kako su svi oni vježbali u njihovoj kući i to je zapravo urezalo itekekve duboke i neraskidive veze i brazde u njegovom biću.


S nepunih osamnaest već je nastupao s ocem i starijom braćom. Sve to značilo je biti non-stop “on the road” po cijeloj Delti. U ranim šezdesetim Boo Boo i njegova braća odlaze na sjever, u St. Louis, gdje su nastupali uz velikane glazbene scene St Louisa (Albert King, Ike Turner, Chuck Berry i drugi).


The Davis Brothers Blues Band svaki vikend bio je kućni bend u Tabby’s Red Room u istočnom St. Louisu punih osamnaest godina. Činjenica je da ga život nije mazio, to je 100% točno jer Davis nije naučio čitati ni pisati, jednostavno nije bilo vremena ili novaca za njegovo školovanje, no pronašao je načina da opstane u modernom svijetu. Da se ne osjeća manje vrijednim, dapače, Boo Boo Davis stekao je reputaciju izvrsnog blues glazbenika, kome taj i takav blues pomaže da zadrži svoj duhovni mir i život na razini dostojne čovjeka. Jer treba preživjeti svaki novi dan i to je zapravo taj život. Iz njega Davis čupa elemente za svakodnevni opstanak i o tome on pjeva. Život donosi i dobro i loše, on je običan i jednostavan i stvaran je.


Ušavši u studio Davis samo krene i pjesme izlaze jedna za drugom. Na ovom tonskom zapisu uz Boo Boo Davisa na vokalu i usnjaku uz eksperimentalni elektro blues duo, koji su snimili ovih sedam skladbi onako u uživo, bez puno mudrovanja, kako su nekada to radili i snimali legendarni blues glaznenici. Baš zato sve ovo što čujete zvuči tako stvarno i životno Davis i ElectroBluesSociety odradili su doista dobar posao. A sve ostalo ovisi o ukusima slušatelja i poklonika bluesa.

Posted on

review ElectroBluesSociety from the UK

ElectroBluesSociety Featuring Michel Peters—Hoochie Coochie Man—

Here is another single track from this Dutch outfit, with a local singer turning in a version of the Muddy Waters classic. Some of these issues on Black & Tan subsidiary label KuvVer Records have kept reasonably close to the originals – this one doesn’t. The throbbing, up tempo backing is largely electronic, though with pounding drums and some excellent blues guitar, whilst Michel’s singing is fine. The whole thing does actually work well, so, if you have a youngster who feels that the blues is old hat, try to get them to give this a listen – you never know…

Posted on

review for ElectroBluesSociety feat Boo Boo Davis from France

Duo blues expérimental néerlandais composé de Jasper Mortier à la basse et à la batterie et de Jan Mittendorp aux guitares et aux effets, ElectroBluesSociety bouscule les conventions du blues depuis déjà quelques belles années et inonde régulièrement le marché de ses diverses productions dans lesquelles le blues des aînés est souvent revu et corrigé à la sauce actuelle, avec une pointe d’electro mais sans jamais s’éloigner d’un pouce des valeurs d’origines des morceaux. Alors que les deux musiciens accompagnaient le chanteur et harmoniciste Boo Boo Davis sur une tournée européenne en 2018, l’idée leur vint subitement de se rendre en studio avec l’artiste originaire de Drew, dans le Mississippi, et de mettre en boite à ses côtés et en l’espace de trois heures quelques classiques du blues, et non des moindres. Le résultat est sans appel, avec pas moins de sept titres qui ont déjà été proposés en single en 2018 et 2019 mais qui prennent aujourd’hui la forme d’un EP que l’on peut télécharger sur toutes les bonnes plateformes. De Howlin’ Wolf à Willie Dixon en passant par Elmore James et Robert Johnson, ElectroBluesSociety et Boo Boo Davis vont nous proposer de véritables pépites de blues baignées de guitares bien juteuses, d’harmonicas gouleyants à souhait et de voix rugueuses, des trésors en douze mesures qui nous entrainent du Delta jusqu’à Chicago avec des classiques parmi les classiques revisités et subtilement agrémentés d’un pointe de modernisme qui ne nuit en rien, loin de là, à la très haute valeur intrinsèque des « Smokestack Lightnin », « Tell Me », « Evil », « How Many More Years », « Dust My Broom », « Little Red Rooster » et autres « Back Door Man » qui glissent dans la platine avec une finesse impressionnante. Si la démarche peut paraître osée sur le papier, force est de constater que le résultat est d’un excellent niveau et que le jeu en vaut vraiment la chandelle. A écouter de toute urgence !

Posted on

another review David Philips on New Folk Sounds

David Philips bekijkt de boel van de positieve kant met zijn nieuwe compositie over de corona crisis. In Bliss (a quarantaine song) bezingt hij de milieu effecten van de pandemie op zijn woonomgeving. Gedurende de quarantaine veranderde Barcelona – de thuishaven van David Philips – van een vervuilde, stinkende en lawaaierige stad in een rustige, vriendelijke en schone stad voor wat betreft de luchtkwaliteit. Het is natuurlijk bijna onmogelijk dat dit zo blijft, maar in een lied kun je je eigen draai aan de werkelijkheid geven.

Op de drumtrack na – die werd geleend van een nooit uitgebrachte demo uit 2017 – werd het lied opgenomen op de zolderkamer van David in Barcelona, waar hij de afgelopen maanden werkte aan nieuw materiaal, zoals op muziekgebied als op het tekenvlak.

Het nummer Bliss (a quarantaine song) is te downloaden via de bekende platforms.

Posted on

review David Philips by SomethingElseReviews

There are a lot of great folk singers who can deliver a song with a fine croon and a fluidly fingerpicked acoustic guitar. The ones of these who really stand out are the ones who are perceptive about the world around them and find something positive and lasting about humanity in the midst of strife. Strife, such as our current one, this global pandemic.

Seth Walker quickly stepped up to the moment with “We Got This.” Across the pond in Barcelona, Spain, David Philips found his own sunny angle, a silver lining to all this despair: Mother Nature is getting a much-needed break.

“Bliss (A Quarantine Song)” is set up with his usual simple but foot-tapping arrangement. Philips discovers ‘bliss’ from the normally smoggy Barcelona to a quieter one not overrun by tourists and emissions, where his “lungs get no abuse, while my ears rest quietly without a sound.”

Philips is certainly wanting this worldwide health crisis to end as much as the rest of us; he can’t gig as long as people crowded in clubs spread the plague. But he also asks, “Oh why can’t it just stay like this, with everyone at home/This could be eternal bliss, if we just leave well alone.”

Something well worth pondering over as we plot a new normal in the post-Covid-19 world.

Posted on

review ElectroBluesSociety feat Boo Boo Davis op Musiczine (Belgium)

Het lijkt een verloren zaak als je het uitgangspunt bekijkt: oude bluesrat neemt een reeks bluesklassiekers op met zijn Europese begeleidingsband. Je kan nauwelijks een geeuw onderdrukken. Toch zit er vuurwerk in één van de zeven tracks. Hoeveel keer kan je “Little Red Rooster” nog interpreteren en het interessant houden? Het nummer moet zowat het ingangsexamen zijn om jezelf een bluesband te mogen noemen. Maar als een 76-jarige ex-katoenplukker het nog eens overdoet, willen we wel een oogje dichtknijpen. Het begeleidende duo maakt er nog iets moois van. Ook met deze versies van “Evil” en “Tell Me” scoren ze geen homerun. Betere keuzes zijn dan “Dust My Broom”, “Smokestack Lightnin” en “How Many More Years”. In aanpak en uitvoering heel klassiek, maar degelijk en met veel overtuiging gebracht. En dan nog die ene waar vuurwerk in zit? Op “Back Door Man”, ook al zo’n classic die je al een paar keer teveel hebt gehoord, experimenteren de Nederlanders een eind weg met een soort van analoog-klinkende swampy loops die het nummer een vibe geven alsof er een geest meespeelt in de band. Er zijn nog tracks waarop ElectroBluesSociety speelt met loops, maar dan blijft het beperkt tot at je productionele ingrepen kan noemen. Op “Back Door Man” is het net heel uitgesproken, en het werkt absoluut heel goed. Deze aanpak had voor het volledige album mogen gebruikt worden.

Posted on

review for EP ElectroBluesSociety feat Boo Boo Davis

Just yesterday KuvVer Records dropped a nifty little EP on us, one with the living blues icon Boo Davis performing some trusty blues covers. Chicago Blues Covers puts in a single release a collection of tunes all recorded one afternoon in 2018, and released as singles over the next year. This plainly titled EP delivers songs that in most bluesman’s hands might be a little tired and pedestrian, but this is Boo Boo Davis we’re talking about here, a character as colorful as Howlin’ Wolf which all comes out in his authentic delivery. Hell, almost as if to underscore his kinship with that original blues giant, most of these seven songs like “Little Red Rooster” were made famous by the former Chester Arthur Burnett. Davis is backed by the ElectroBluesSociety (or should I say, the ElectroBluesSociety is backed by Davis?), a tidy little unit made up of Jan Mittendorp on guitar and Jasper Mortier and drums and bass. With Boo Boo handling the singing and the blues harp, this music needs nothing else. You can hear Davis’ echoed and looped in the background but otherwise, this is pretty much like it would be heard in a nightclub. And maybe you heard these songs many times before, but not in the way Davis & Company plays/slays ‘em. “Evil” is set apart by stomp on the two and four and Davis’ singing the song like a man possessed. On “Smokestack Lightnin’,” Boo Boo howls and moans with the fervor of a man fifty years younger. Davis takes his time getting started on “Back Door Man” to allow Mittendorp to noodle around with some biting lines, as the track is drenched in electronically-induced some psychedelic haze. “How Many More Years” sounds deadlier with Davis’ harmonica altered to resemble an organ, and Mittendorp’s slide sets the vintage feeling for Elmore James’ “Dust My Broom.” The band shuffles through “Tell Me” as Davis squeals on that harmonica with mid-century authenticity. Then again, everything Boo Boo Davis plays is authentic. And with the sympathetic backing of ElectroBluesSociety, Chicago Blues Covers is faithful in fanning the blues flame in the way that only Davis can do it.

Posted on

review David Philips & Abel Boquera from the UK

There you go walking along the street trying to get your groove on when you realise that what missing in your step is an appropriate soundtrack. The question, however, is the choice of said soundtrack. Do you for the corporate sponsored playlist suggestion or do you roll the dice and choose something that might just be more than bit classier? Something like “The Duo Sessions” by David Philips and Abel Boquera?

Well, they say that music can put the spring back in your step and these three songs do that just. Two originals and a cover of a Michael Jackson hit might not sound like much to interest your ears but David Philips and Abel Boquera have something special cooking in their crock pot. That something is a surfeit of easy going charm which duly makes these simply arranged songs into a recipe for a smile.

With David Philips & Abel Boquera in your ears, the street is the place to be.

Posted on

review EP David Philips & Abel Boquera

David Philips & Abel Boquera have been playing together in one form or another for more than a decade, but they never made a record together, and even the just-released The Duo Sessions only became a record perhaps as an afterthought. Usually, the recordings of songs beget the videos for them; here, the videos came first and then the idea to make a record out of the performances caught on camera in Boquera’s studio came afterwards. A David Philips record that includes another musician is a very rare event; none of the prior seven ones covered in this space had anyone else playing on them. So it may be a revelation to some that Philips plays well with others, and this singer-songwriter guitar whiz certainly meshes with his Fender Rhodes-playing friend.

The first two tunes come from Philips’ then-latest album Get Along, and this drum-less version of “Another Day” isn’t really missing anything because the beat is still intact. Boquera’s electric piano and Philips’s acoustic guitar blend so well, at times they sound as one. The funky folk-jazz song “My Gravity” (video above) similarly has plenty of propulsion without the formal percussion. Boquera’s swinging solo only enhances the jazz element of the song even further. The final track is Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel” and Davis Philips soulful croon is a natural for this number. For good measure, he tosses in a nifty aside from his acoustic six -string during the instrumental break.

At a running time just past 11 minutes, it’s barely an EP much less an LP, but it’s a pocket-sized collection of a couple of really good musicians and pals having fun with a trio of fine songs. Ain’t nothing wrong with that.