Today we released a new single from ElectroBluesSociety on Instrumental Blues Records. It is a little appetizer for an upcoming instrumental EP that we will release later this year. The guys go back to basic on this one: two instruments and one take.
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.
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.
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.
Boo Boo Davis is coming over to tour Europe at least twice a year and because of that he is able to survive in the USA. His Spring tour had to be cancelled because of the Corona virus and that means that he is almost without any serious incomes between now and the next tour (hopefully by the end of 2020). He has a lot fans all over the world and it would be great of all of those would reach out and help a little now that he needs it the most.
So far I was able to wire more than 1100 USD to Boo Boo and that really makes a difference for him in the current situation in North America. . If you haven’t donated so far ….. feel free to do so now.
Hey everyone. Hope you are all safe and well in these trying times. BAD NEWS and GOOD NEWS :
My tour of The Netherlands in May has been cancelled as we imagined might happen. I have also had all my local gigs cancelled for the foreseeable future. So apart from a bit of singing teaching online (more about that in another post) I am, like many other musicians, without income. The good news is, this means I have to be very creative in coming up with ways to pay my rent. I have a few ideas that I will post about, but first thing was to get a project done that I’ve been meaning to do for ages.
I have lots of old DEMOS and UNUSED song ideas scattered about on hard drives dating back to when I first started singing, writing and recording my own songs in 2007. So I have finally compiled the stuff I think would be interesting and I have made A NEW RECORD called “Demos and Ideas 2015 – 2007”
Taking advantage of Bandcamp’s new policy to send 100% of money made from downloads to the artists, I have created a Bandcamp page and you can download the record exclusively from there. It won’t be on Spotify or iTunes etc. The record starts at 2015 and goes in chronological order back in time to 2007. Demos and song ideas range from fully produced studio recordings, home recordings, 4-Track cassette demos, mobile phone demos and even a couple recorded on a Sony dictaphone I used to have.
It includes the original 4 Track Cassette demo for “When I’m Drunk”, the original dictaphone demo of “Angel” and a load of other demos and unused song ideas. 15 tracks in all. So if you feel like supporting, here’s the link to the record and I very much appreciate it! I hope to get back to playing live soon. https://davidphilips.bandcamp.com/album/demos-and-ideas-2015-2007
Many thanks and stay safe! David Philips
P.s. if you click on “info” at the side of each track there is a line or two about the song and which album it ended up on if any.
Bluesman Boo Boo Davis is pretty much the closest we now have to one of the originals. Born in Mississippi, he has actual experience of working the clubs of the Delta. His father, also a blues musician, played with the esteemed likes of John Lee Hooker and Elmore James and Boo Boo remembers such luminaries being around the house when he was young. The blues is in his DNA and this, his fifth album for Black and Tan Records, sees him on fine form, playing, as he has since 2008, in a stripped back trio format. It’s joyously blues…pure blues. Which is rare these days – no embellishments, no nods to anything remotely modern and, thankfully, no blues rock (which, if we’re brutally honest, is usually just rock with a token acoustic slide intro). Davis, although also a guitarist, is primarily a harp player and his distorted wailing heralds the arrival of lead track, ‘Dirt Road’. It’s minimal, gritty and totally authentic – there are shades of Muddy and RL Burnside to Davis’ vocals and the guitar has a nice, Stonesy feel, the band hitting a flawless, long practised groove. Groove. Groove is vital to this album. Songs are mostly frameworks, licks, jams, erm…grooves around which Davis adds buried-in-the-mix vocals and harp flourishes – usually ending with a lazy jam which, if freed from the confines of the studio, you expect would go on for several hours. Most of these riffs are as old as the blues itself but when they’re essayed this well – hey, who cares. There are 12 bar blues, slow blues, fast blues and subtle variations thereof. ‘Oh Baby’ (see above) has lonesome harp atop swampy guitar and muffled, metallic slide while ‘She Won’t Call Me On The Telephone’ hits the ground at runaway train momentum. Thunderous and abandoned, it’s 100% blues but as riotous as Jon Spencer or any avant garde NY noise terrorist, as relentless as prime Motorhead. ‘Bring My Baby Back Home’ is pure RnB, Brian Jones would have been in its thrall. There is also a definite Creedence delta swampiness to several tracks while John Lee Hooker returns in spirit with the dialogue led narrative of ‘Chocolate’. Final track ‘I’m Getting Old’ is taken at an ironically sprightly pace – a fearlessly bluesy take on mortality with added wah-wah, there’s no kicking of buckets yet for these dudes.This is a fine, rough edged, real blues album. It’s produced beautifully, recorded well with a genuine live-in-the-studio feel (with occasional chatter when songs end) and no new fangled trickery or knob twiddling (fnarr). It’s the blues folks, played from the heart with dirt under the fingernails. What you hear is what you get and long may we get blues of this quality and class. *drops the bullet mic
It is the fifth track from a recording session that ElectroBluesSociety did with Mississippi blues man Boo Boo Davis in October 2018. Together they went back to the classic Chicago blues and here is another Howlin Wolf classic with a little ‘electrofication’
The track is released digital only and available on all stream and download platforms
David Philips is no stranger to indie music, or to this blog, as we reviewed his previous release back in May. On this brilliant EP, Philips strips down a pair of classic songs, “Dock of the Bay” and “Hit the Road Jack,” and totally re-imagines a pair of 80’s pop hits, “Freedom” and “Heart of Glass” to create a beautiful and peaceful soundtrack. This one is a treat from start to finish. We only wish there were more than four songs.
Recommendation: Definitely worth adding to your collection.