Black Penny Records BPR-0005
14 songs – 74 minutes
Singer-guitarist Kris Pohlmann finally delivers the album he’s wanted with this collection of blues-rock captured live during his Spring 2016 European tour.
Born in England, but based out of Duisberg, Germany, since moving to the Continent at age 22 in the late ’90s. Pohlmann discovered the blues after a youth dominated by Cream, Free, ZZ Top and Status Quo. A high-energy performer who’s won six German Blues with three previous studio albums. This one features a mix of covers from Johnny “Guitar” Watson, Paul Rodgers, Freddie King and Lowell Fulson, all sandwiched among tunes cherry-picked from his own catalog.
Pohlmann’s backed here by his regular rhythm section of Janosch Brenneisen on drums and Jonas Bareiter on bass. The unit’s been together since 2013, and are featured on Kris’ 2015 release, Taylor Road, which earned a spot in the German blues-rock Top 10 as well as airplay around the globe.
“Don’t Make A Fool Of Me” fires out of the box to kick off the set. It’s a bottom-heavy three-note rocker that describes someone who doesn’t think before speaking and won’t back down when confronted. Kris’ vocals are somewhat smoky and strong. “Borrowed Time” picks up where that one left off as it expresses Pohlmann’s desire to make his mark in the world.
The mood and tempo change for the rocker “One Day Baby,” in which Kris tells a lady that he has to cut her loose because of the way she’s treating him. Then it’s deep into the blues vein for a supercharged taste of Watson’s familiar complaint, “Too Tired.” The original, “Got To Be The Blues” — about being solo, but never alone — follows, introduced by an extended guitar intro, before the melodic, 10-minute “Fallin’ Down” questions the motives of another lover whose actions set the singer free.
It’s back to the blues-rock foundation for the three-note “Used To Be” and “Soulshaker” before Pohlmann dips into the Free songbook with “Come Together In The Morning,” penned by Paul Rodgers in the ’60s before his long run with Bad Company.
Two more disparate covers — a faithful take on King’s standard, “I’m Tore Down,” and Status Quo’s “(April) Spring, Summer & Wednesdays” — follow before a reprise of “Taylor Road,” the title tune from Pohlmann’s most recent studio effort. An interesting, slow-blues take on Fulson’s “Reconsider Baby” and the original instrumental burner, “One For Sorrow,” bring the set to a close.
Available through Microsoft, Israbox and other online retailers, 10 Years Live is a solid, lengthy effort delivered to an appreciative audience. If you’re a fan of blues-rock, you’ll like this one.