A.G. Weinberger is Reborn On Album Number TEN

Romanian guitarist, singer and composer A.G. Weinberger (hereafter referred to as AG to save my fingers) is an accomplished and prolific artist on the European blues scene. In fact, this latest release, Reborn, is his tenth album. In between all of the studio and live work around his blues, he somehow finds time to host radio and TV shows, educational workshops and even scores the music for theatres! He is an imposing figure physically too, should you be lucky enough to see him live, as he is well over six feet tall…so the guitars he uses aren’t reduced scale, they just look that way. AG is actually from Transylvania. I have a couple of friends from there and they detest the vampire references that detract from that stunningly beautiful region and for them and AG, who I would bet feels the same, I will not resort to puns on that subject.

The sweeping nature of the music on offer could well be coloured by the vista his homeland offers…here you will find blues, jazz, folk, rock and a psychedelic palette to blend it all together. It opens with the Willie Dixon composed Wang Dang Doodle. Not his best lyrical composition (and nothing to do with this venerable site’s name as Othello will attest), but when AG takes that very familiar riff by the throat and turns it, genuinely, into something different, it is easy to forget the familiar and lose yourself in the jazz laden feel with the piano, bass and snare work and then the harmonics he creates around the riff; particularly in the instrumental section when the inevitable detractors of this treatment will forgive as the guitar solo washes through in a Pat Metheny sort of way. Sweet Little Number is next and it is just that… a sweet little N’Orleans feel as more clever jazz tinges appear with the piano reinforcing that edge while the snare work and guitar solo is inspired. On The Wrong Side is blues-based and moves a little toward weighty, country blues with a lap steel solo that is pitched just right, especially as AG uses the lower registers rather than the usual top two strings. Blues stalwart Bob Margolin co-wrote and appears on The Fool’s Lucky Day and the guitar duet (or, perhaps duel would be a better word) as the song fades is masterful. Bob’s slide virtuosity is on full display throughout and, as always, is impeccable. It Wouldn’t Be Enough For You starts all funky with some slap bass before the organ and slide give the song a healthy injection of proper blues. The delightful instrumental, Slippery Slope, provides a slice of swing as the upright bass playing of Hars Viktor anchors the whole thing admirably. The piano keeps it sat in the jazz lounge but the guitar phrasing pushes it into the fusion category and AG’s playing is breath-taking. In complete contrast, Just One Minute is an acoustic, countrified ballad on the theme of lost love with the lap steel mournfully reflecting the heartbreak. Cadillac Blues is from the pen of Johnnie Bassett who graced many a stage with the likes of Hooker, Fulson and Washington and released an album of the same name shortly before his untimely death in 2012. AG stays faithful to the original Chicago shuffle style but still stamps his personality on the solos with his unique attack on all six strings…not just one or two. Shoot is next and if you could imagine CCR doing a jam with Dr Hook then that is the nearest I can get to the flavours on offer on this neat little song. The piano and brief bass solos move away from that picture to an extent, but not for long. Caroline isn’t Quo but is a piano-led song that bring to mind saccharine pop of years gone by and, although lines like “I’ll do the spacewalk with a ring in my nose” endear, it is a little too soul/pop for me and doesn’t sit well with the rest in my opinion. The title track, Reborn, brings the quality straight back up as we are treated to a curious hybrid of jazz, blues and psychedelic rock. Its acoustic strumming is overlaid with echoed slide and is very Moontan Golden Earring until we go off into a freeform section that is more Faustian and although some may call it discordant, it is a complex, structured and skilled piece. The closing track, I Am The Water is a piano ballad with just AG and Gabor baring their respective souls in a nice enough way, although I have to be in a certain mood and have a full glass alongside to make this a listening priority.

This may not be blues, but it is most certainly rooted there and AG isn’t afraid to ride roughshod over convention to come up with some remarkable blues variations. It may be a bit jazz for some, but repeated listens reveal a depth that takes time to appreciate…give it a careful listen and you’ll discover why AG says that his music is “related to the blues” and, for me, a worthy variation thereof.

EIGHTpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Track listing:

  1. Wang Dang Doodle
  2. Sweet Little Number
  3. On the Wrong Side
  4. The Fool’s Lucky Day (ft Bob Margolin)
  5. It Wouldn’t be Enough
  6. Slippery Slope
  7. Just One Minute
  8. Cadillac Blues
  9. Shoot
  10. Caroline
  11. Reborn
  12. I Am the Water


  13. Musicians:

    AG Weinberger: guitars, vocals

    Pustai Csaba: drums

    Cseke Gabor: keyboards

    Hars Viktor: bass

    Bob Margolin: guitar – Track 4



    Recorded at

    Origo Studios, Budapest
    A.G. Weinberger is Reborn On Album Number TEN

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