Jörg Danielsen – Live Aus Dem Jazzland
Styx Records – 2018
9 tracks; 39 minutes
Jörg Danielsen is an Austrian guitarist and singer who became a full-time musician in 2014. Since then he has toured solo, as a duo and with his band The Vienna Blues Association. The band released a debut album in 2016 and recorded this folow-up, a live album, on home turf in Vienna. Jörg handles guitar and vocals, Walter Walterson is on bass and Christoph Karas on drums with guest Al Passegger adding harp to three tracks. The album blends five of Jörg’s originals with four covers and seems to give a fair representation of how the band will sound live. Jörg sings reasonably well with some trace of accent but all the lyrics can be understood and the band sounds fine.
The album opens with two of the best known covers imaginable, Little Walter’s “My Babe” and Freddie King’s “Hideaway”. Both are played quite well but it is difficult for the band to add anything new to such frequently covered tunes. “Want To Meet My Darling” is the first original and Jörg struggles to sing the lyrics against the sheer pace of the rhythm section, his solo echoing some aspects of the previous tune “Hideaway”. The band drops the pace for the country-inflected ballad “Chase Your Troubles Away” which does rather expose Jörg’s vocal limitations though his guitar solo is excellent. We then get two covers which are less familiar: John Brim’s “Ice Cream Man” barrels along impressively with Al adding a few harp accents, Jörg sticking to playing some fast-paced riffs rather than the slide that is usually associated with the tune; Magic Slim’s “Black Tornado” provides a second instrumental feature for Jörg’s twangy style as the rhythm section sets a mighty pace behind him.
Three originals close the set, starting with “Backwoodsman Blues”, a rocking tune which was the pick of the album for this reviewer with its Magic Slim style riffing and well-organised stop-start work by the rhythm section. Jörg’s “Good Old Beer” rather outstays its welcome at over eight minutes, the rhythm section featured throughout and Jörg bringing some funky guitar into the mix as he praises the national drink of choice, despite the problems it can cause! In complete contrast the disc closes with an acoustic guitar/harp duo performance which celebrates Jorg’s passion for “Jelly Beans”.
The album is mostly a decent listen; a blend of covers and originals is a pleasing way to organize a live gig and fans of the band will want this souvenir of the evening but it may struggle to gain a much wider audience.