Pick of the Albums Reviewed – 2016: January – March
Bluesdoodles listens to music recorded and live from across the genres. Bluesdoodles reviews all albums received with an open-mind and will always look for the elements that make the music stand out from the crowd!. The albums we award 10 doodle paws too, for us have a special connection, and acknowledge like all reviewers our scoring is subjective. Between 1st January and 31st March 2016 Bluesdoodles reviewed 49 albums that reflect the depth and breadth of music being recorded in studios around the world. Remember albums not included on the lists are still excellent; definitely worth listening to and purchasing especially go see music live at venues near you support music and the artists who travel the roads so we can hear music full of passion and the special ingredient of a live performance..
This is the first list of 2016 and all of these will be in with a shout for the Bluesdoodles Dozen of 2016..
Michael Messer has re-shaped the blues with a melding of southern spices and those of the Indian sub-continent. Two great rivers Ganges and Mississippi are powerful forces and have shaped the music. This debut album of Michael Messer’s Mitra works. The strength and integrity of blues is never lost as the fusing of blues slide guitar with Tabla for rhythms and classical Hindustani slide guitar. This is a fusion that fits, there is nothing forced in the seamless melding of the tones and textures of traditions. The Tabla’s tone blends with the guitars and creates a percussive beat, whilst the Mohan Veen adds a sharper tone, together bending into the tonal shape of Indian dance. This textural dimension weaves into the sonic range of Michael’s resophonic steel guitars.
Mitra is the Hindu god of friendship so the album is Michael Messer’s friends, this friendship is apparent in the stripped back blending of cultural diverse music. The sound created is unique and with the best of fusion of cultures the mixing is subtle nothing is lost but everything is gained,
Anyway the Wind Blows includes feet tapping rhythms from Piano and this is Eastern Blues a box of surprises but every note is blues that shimmer like sari silk. This album is a success due to the melodious delivery of the lyrics from Michaeal. Plus the grounding of his resophonic guitar skills keeping the blues rooted in the soul. The Tabla and Mohan Veena add texture and tone and twists in the beat and cadences of the blues. Following on from a unique rendition of Rollin’ and Tumblin’ with its Eastern derived lead break, we have the most eastern infused track Bhupali Blues, with the interaction of the Tabla’s rhythmic tones created by complicated fingering and the distinctive chords and tone from the Mohan Veena. As this instrumental track unfolds Michael’s resophonic guitar picks up the music and the Ganges and Mississippi flow as one. Blue Letters, not to be confused with Fleetwood Macs Blue Letter. This is a Michael Messer composition bringing us back to Mississipi with a hint of spice and rolls and flows like a lazy summer’s afternoon. The title track of Michael’s album Lucky Charms, is given the eastern treatment and it is given a fresh lease of life with the intricate beat of Gurdian Rayatt’s Tabla.
Closing with Sweetheart Darling, captures leaving, farewell, sadness and the feeling of the sunset that closes a chapter. The instrumental has a reflective flow that allows the instruments to speak for themselves in a celebration of diversity of the blues the essence that adds spice to call Of the Blues.
Having travelled to Indian to perform in a festival in Mumbai Michael Messer met and jammed with Manish Pingle ( (pronounced ‘Pinglay’). Manish easily transferred his skills from Hindustani music to the country blues style of Michael he was hearing for the first time. The rapport between them was natural and this is heard throughout Call Of The Blues. Now the music has been shaped and recorded in an album that is ten tracks that makes Blues imaginative and definitely innovative. Once again demonstrating the power of music rooted in a culture can transcends borders and take flight with integrity, Call of The Blues is a mighty voice.
Bluesdoodles gives this CD TEN doodle paws out of TEN ….
Michael Messer’s Mitra – Call Of The BluesRelease date 29th January 2016 Purchase HERE release date – 5th February 2016
1. You Got To Move
2. Anyway The Wind Blows
3. Rollin’ and Tumblin’
4. Bhupali Blues
5. You Gonna Be Sorry
6. Blue Letters
7. Rolling In My Sweet Baby’s Arms
8. I Can’t Be Satisfied
9. Lucky Charms
10. Sweetheart Darling
Michael Messer, Vocals, Slide & Lab Steel Resophonic Guitar
Manish Pingle, Mohan Veena (Indian Slide Guitar)
Gurdian Rayatt, Tabla
With Richard Causon, Piano, Organ