recensie EP op Musiczine (Belgie)

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.

review for our EP with 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.

review from the UK

Here is what BLUES IN THE SOUTH wrote about two or our recent single releases with BOO BOO DAVIS on KuvVer Records:

These is the sixth and seventh single releases from this combination of European outfit with Mississippi born singer Boo Boo, and again they are both classic Howling Wolf songs – and again they are both winners! Davis has just the right kind of gritty voice for these down-home items, with ‘How Many More Years’ running to a few seconds short of four minutes, and although the song is a little more “electrofied” than some of its predecessors (Boo Boo’s wailing harp sound has been a little altered), the rhythm remains straightforward and direct. ‘Back Door Man’ gets quite a radical re-working though still managing to keep a strong down-home feel, despite some jazz licks and even a shade of a hip-hop feel at times. If you like what you have heard of these collaborations so far, do check these two out, but if your tastes tend more towards the traditional, maybe try ‘How Many More Years’ first.
Norman Darwen