Review: Blues Matters

Blues Matters (Britain’s leading blues magazine)

Review: Walk The Walk

Doctor Blues began life back in nineteen eighty-two when Lennart Olofsson from Sweden and Dan Bindel from Denmark found that their mutual love of the Blues melded into a fruitful musical partnership when they combined Dan’s love of playing delta slide and Lennart’s heavier mixture of Chicago / British based blues of the sixties; for the best part of sixteen years band members came and went playing mainly rough sounding covers, as time went by Lennart began to write his own compositions and slowly fed them into their evolving live act until they ceased to be a covers band.

The arrival of Karin, who joined the band in nineteen ninety-six ensured not only a greater degree of stability within the band but also a singular purpose and direction.

Now, with this their fourth album release the band have a settled line-up of Karin Rudefelt; lead vocals, Lennart Olofsson; lead vocals, lead, slide and Rhythm guitars, Peter Borgstrom; bass and pedal tambourine, Tobias Magnusson; drums and Sven Torstensson; keyboards. The music has an enticing and enjoyable elemental, almost primal mixture of rock, jazz and funk which leads to a thickening and heavy sound that crashes and roars from the speakers like a scything double headed axe slicing through armour.

On ‘Walk The Walk,’ Lennarts’ slide is a swinging joyful affair that boldly underpins Karin’s confident, brash vocals that are not unlike Chrissy Hynde, while Lennarts’ gruff vocals complement Karin’s splendidly. The urging shuffler ‘Paradise of Love’ leads you into a rockish winding fun footapping guitar solo. On jazz inflected mover ‘Angel on my Shoulder’ and the slow burning delta inspired ‘Guts to Live,’ the Finnish Blues Queen Erja Lyytinen supplies superlative and emotion laden slide.

One of the more engaging, haunting and no doubt soon to be crowd pleaser is the highly accessible goodtime number ‘Devils’ Child,’ a fast paced guitar jangling shuffler boasting a splendid slide guitar that weaves in and out. The Sweden based American blues player Brian Kramer also contributes a heartfelt vocal and Dobro slide piece that weaves emotively in and around Karins’ hauntingly pleading vocals on the slowburning ‘Unknown Fate’.

A splendid export from Sweden that I for one think we should hear more of.


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