Sneaky Foot Records
CD: 10 Songs; 44:48 Minutes
Styles: Blues Rock, Contemporary Electric Blues, Texas Blues
Sometimes the blues, even blues rock, is hottest where it’s coldest – in this case, Sweden. Stockholm’s Patrik Jansson Band announces “Here We Are” with as much vigor as the late, great Stevie Ray Vaughan. That artist is listed as a comparison of sorts, along with Buddy Guy and Joe Bonamassa, on their promotional handout – “if you like the likes of [them], chances are you might appreciate this as well.”
Jansson’s vocals also sound a bit like Jeff Healey’s, especially on song number seven, “One Way Track”. In regards to his style of blues, which purists may or may not favor, he states on the band’s website: “I wanted to play blues with a more modern approach. Blues is supposed to feel fresh and alive; it’s a most vital music in my opinion.”
Alongside him are Petter Stenberg on organ and keyboards, bassist Per Wallander, and drummer Patrik Thelin. 2013 harmonica world champion Mikael Fall guest stars on three songs, and so does a horn section featuring Daniel Bjurling on tenor saxophone, Adam Färnlöf on trumpet, and Andreas Olafsson Tuisku on trombone. Young vocalist Lisa Lystam stars in a moving duet on track two. Of the ten songs presented, nine are originals, and the other is a cover of B.B. King’s “Never Make Your Move Too Soon.” The following three numbers would make any blues rocker proud:
Track 02: “Moving On” – Patrik Jansson and Lisa Lystam strut their stuff on this stunning post-breakup ballad. “I’ve got to get back on my feet, and see the world through different eyes. You’re like the same old record on repeat,” he sings smoothly, “and I’ve come to realize – that sometimes you’ve got to let go.” Even though this song may not be about sticking together, that’s what couples on the dance floor are bound to do once they hear it. Daniel Bjurling’s sax sizzles.
Track 04: “Tell Me Baby” – Texas blues stomps are hotter than that state’s spiciest chili, as track four delightfully demonstrates. “Oh, baby, where did we go wrong?” asks Patrik before Mikael Fall shows why he was crowned last year’s harp world champion. “We used to watch the sunset and walk together hand-in-hand. Then came the arguments with all the questions and demands.”
Track 07: “One Way Track” – This is an acerbic warning ballad for the people who never take time to stop and smell the roses: “It’s a shame the way you rush through life – every day is just another dime. Never satisfied with what you’ve got; seems like too much can never be enough. Going down a one-way track, to find out there’s no turning back. You’ll realize you might have been mistaken.” Jansson goes all out on his shredder solo.
Patrik Jansson and his band call out “Here We Are”, hoping U.S. blues fans will hear them!