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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Friday, November 30, 2012

Gateway Music artists: The Blues Overdrive - New Release Review

I just received a new self titled release from The Blues Overdrive, on of Denmark's most talented blues bands. The release is made up of 10 original tracks and one never released track by JJ Cale. The opening track, Death On The Highway, is a jazzy boogie style track with head boppin' guitar riffs. Out In The Country has a lot of the musical characteristics of a Jim Morrison composition. Dual lead guitar players Martin Olsen and Andreas Andersen share the space rather than vying for it. I Was Wrong is a really uptempo shuffle track and gives the band great opportunities to riff away. bassist Thomas Birck and Drummer Lars Heiberg lay down a solid bottom for strong lead guitar slinging. Ball and Chain is a stripped down slow blues very reminiscent of early British blues including vibrato enhanced guitar effects over a solitary vocal track and chorded rhythm guitar with simple guitar leads. I really like this track. Puts me in mind of some of the early creative work by Kim Simmonds and Peter Green. Mr. 16 Tons (Blues For Thorup) is a tribute to Danish blues legend Peter Thorup who was a pioneer on the Danish blues scene and lead guitar player for Alexis Korner. This is a cool track along the creative lines of "Help Me" but at a different tempo and with musical changes in the melody creating a whole new feel. Oh yeah, there are some familiar licks in there but this is a cool track. One of the things that I like best as I listen to this recording is the "real" quality of the music as opposed to the hyper fidelity that I hear so often that sounds plastic. Too Blind To See is a simple blues rocker with a straight forward vocal track and a solid instrumental return. I Need Your Lovin' is a real European style rock/blues track which has it's roots in Seattle. Immediately I like the "Stone Free" echo and the band keeps the track together with crisp guitar riffs over solid unpretentious rhythm. Keep it simple! JJ Cale track I Got Myself A Woman retains the simplicity of Cale from his earliest period and the band builds on the theme musically as is often customary in boogie bands. I like this technique and I'm glad to see bands doing it again. Big Fat Woman is a strong Texas 12 bar blues with a serious swagger. Thomas Foldberg adds some complimentary harp work on this track which makes for a cool compliment. Done Tryin' again has that sound that was so prevalent in Europe at the beginning of the blues reemergence (60's). I'm glad that Blues Overdrive has maintained this sound. Feelin' Kind Of Blue is the final track on the recording and has a noticeably more modern sound. It's almost like taking away the screen door to clarity. It has a bit more of a sophisticated sound but still retains that euroblues quality that I like with the rest of the recording.
 Nice job!  

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