The Blues Chevys heed The Night Calls

The Blue Chevys heed The Night Calls

a great listen with ten tracks that will always be welcome…a word of advice: listen a few times to fully appreciate the thought and craftsmanship that has gone into these songs as the layers of guitars, the subtle but effective drums and bass will reveal a lot more than you expect.

Bluesdoodles rating: 3 Doodle Paws – a great listen with ten tracks that will always be welcome…a word of advice: listen a few times to fully appreciate the thought and craftsmanship that has gone into these songs as the layers of guitars, the subtle but effective drums and bass will reveal a lot more than you expect.

This Belgian band has been, in varying line-ups but always entered around founders the Martello brothers and Kris Bries, around for over thirty years and yet it is only now that I am hearing them! Something (me) is amiss and so on the occasion of The Blue Chevys’ fifth full-length album (including a compilation), The Night Calls, I will put that omission right.

They define their sound as “Rhythm & Blues, Rock & Roll and Americana,’ which, after a few listens is about right although such a simplistic pigeon-hole doesn’t do justice to the way the band echo the past whilst ensuring it is fresh.

Take the opening title track for example it has some blues running through the clever rhythm and melody and it could have graced many a 60s jukebox with the vocal harmonies and Three Dog Night would have been proud if they’d done this one. It is the guitar solo that lifts it into blues territory with the paced and right number of notes…add in the bends and tremolo work and the harp solo that follows and it is a powerful start.

Willow Tree is a new take on proper R’n’B with a lilt and rhythm that is familiar but different…importantly, the guitar layers are simply brilliant, and the harp solo provides a fitting denouement. Fun No More is more bluesy with brassy backing as Kris’ vocals are allowed sparse backing as he goes all dramatic discussing germs in your blood as well as video calls. The low range guitar solo intro brings a touch of film noir to the soundtrack of recent times. Thin Line is back to today in the 60s(?) with a rock ’n’ roll rhythm and those layered guitars working well again. A short and simple yet effective guitar solo has the feel and tone of the times too. The harp is again just right as Kris knows how to blow without being overblown.

Got That Feeling starts like Hank Marvin has recruited a vocalist and stays with that kind of feel with lovely tremolo work and, although it is a fairly low key ballad-like song, it has enough content, particularly with the rousing harp and quality guitar solo, to lift it. Leaving has a slide intro and lilt that is like country blues mixed with a light R’n’b backing…thankfully it is saved from becoming a cold, with a tasty and varied picked, slide and tremolo solo that should have been developed further in my humble. Lonely People has a near surf/pop structure but with clever bottleneck as another ‘would have been a hit in the 60s’ song rolls and pops out of the speakers…and then, toward the end, the trumpet joins in briefly and heralds more lovely guitar. Pick You Up is very country with a hint of blues as well as a hint of many a close harmony group in the days gone by…with added trumpet!

Never Gone has a great drum intro with staccato foot, snare and cowbell…love a cowbell! The riff joins in with a Faces like feel and allows the bass to shine too. A suitably paced guitar solo is a highlight. Cool Me Off wraps the album up with a bluesy/r’n’b structure that is yet more proof that these guys can write modern nostalgia…and throw in another great guitar solo too.

This is a thoroughly enjoyable album that should be listened to a few times to fully appreciate the thought and craftsmanship that has gone into these songs as the layers of guitars, the subtle but effective drums and bass will reveal a lot more than you expect from a cursory run through.

The Blue Chevys heed The Night Calls

Track listing:
The Night Calls
Willow Tree
Fun No More
Thin Line
Got That Feeling
Leaving
Lonely People
Pick You Up
Never Gone

Musicians:
Kris Bries ( Vocals & Harp)
Frederic Martello (Lead Guitar & Backing Vocals)
Philippe Martello (Drums)
Jean- Luc Cremens (Bass Guitar)
Sven Smekens (Rhythm Guitar)
Kim Vandeweyer (Trumpet)
Koen Desloovere (Saxophone)

Connect with The Blue Chevys across SOCIAL MEDIA
Official Website
Facebook
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Spotify
YouTube

(iTunes took me back to 1993 and John Sykes’ post-Whitesnake band, Blue Murder. Their version of Itchycoo Park is absolute genius (as was John’s version of Love Potion No9 when he was in the Tigers of Pan tang.)

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