Great piece by Klaus Fricke (and translated by him from German) on the resurgence of British Blues worldwide and honoured to be mentioned along side some legendary names!!!
London – You cannot say this kind of music has left the stage forever.
It has just vanished from the main audience’s eye for decades. Bluesrock, the music style chosen as „the hottest thing ever“ in the 1960s, became cold very fast again. But wonder why, in 2015 and even more 2016 world is listening again to blues rock.
Blues rock: amplified blues, european version of the traditional Chicago blues – in this way you can describe this style which also stands as a door opener to many other styles played with electric guitars. Its high time is well defined too: From 1964, when The Rolling Stones‘ got their one number one blues song (“Little Red Rooster“) to 1970, when the unique Peter Green left Fleetwood Mac.
Afterwards, bicycle’s inner tube has lost its air, the blues harp fell silent – in London, where it all had started, and in Europe. Young guitar player as Rory Gallagher, Jeff Healey of Stevie Ray Vaughn became famous and have had their times (and Eric Clapton seems to be there each and every day) but none of them were influential enough to lead blues rock as genre back to former height an quality.
“The popularity of Blues music oscillates over time, like a sine wave going from peaks to troughs“, says Simon Campbell who is active in the music business as musician and producer since the end of the seventies, nowadays with his own Starlite Campbell Band. There has always been fans of this kind of music, he tells us in an interview, but, over the past few years, the emergence of Joe Bonamassa has revived the guitar solo and the popularity of electric blues music.“
And even young and gifted guitar player Bonamassa who has published his first record in 2000 had to fight hard to make blues rock big again and interesting enough a bigger audience that fills the biggest venues – with his own appearances and other artists‘.
This success, among others, encourages Campbell to produce the new CD “Blueberry Pie“ with original material written by him and his wife Suzy Starlite. “As songwriters, we really wanted to create a record that felt alive and honest. Our inspiration was our love of the British Blues explosion in the mid to late 60’s; the excitement and feel of the music is still as vibrant today as it was then“, says Campbell. No wonder that the band was using an array of vintage guitars and amplifiers, as well as a 1961 Hammond organ and early 70’s Wurlitzer electric piano. Just to include the warm analogue sound of the 60s into an modern production of today.
They may use old gear but they are not reproducing former stars – this is how many young (and not so young) blues musicians feel today. Just take a look at the very talented Dan Patlansky (current album “Introvertigo“) or the intense and hard working Ben Poole (“Time has come“), listen to Steve Nimmo (“Sky won’t fall“) or Vanessa Collier (“Heart, Soul & Saxophone“). They take the chance of the times and made wonderful albums for the public. Thanks to the great musical abilities of the new blues rock movement.
That’s why it is hardly surprising that US singer Sari Schorr, who currently gets rave reviews with her debut “A Force of Nature“, was able to re-activate producer Mike Vernon. The semi-retired Vernon was one of the responsible persons for “British Blues Explosion“ in the 60s. Also going back to their roots were superstars like Jeff Beck (“Loud Hailer“) and the Stones (“Blue and Lonesome“).
Now every participant is happy about the renaissance of blues rock in 2016 – but nobody knows how log this lasts this time. It mainly depends on the fact if artists are able to produce so many great songs to delight the fans all over the world once more.