The Teasers Blues Band – Blue Truck
Self-Release – 2017
10 tracks; 38 minutes
The blues is alive and well in Spain! We have seen the likes of harmonica player Quique Gomez playing in the States and famed producer Mike Vernon (John Mayall’s ‘Beano’ album, Fleetwood Mac, Blue Horizon records, etc) now lives in Spain and has been bringing Spanish players to a wider audience as part of his band. The Teasers Blues Band comes from Barcelona and has been around since 2012, originally as a trio but now considerably expanded, as the list of musicians shows. Leader, song writer, guitarist and vocalist José Azul has the perfect name for a bluesman and is joined by David Gomez on drums, Matias Míguez on bass, JJ Caro on keys, Tina Masawi on vocals, Joan Pau Cumellas on harp, Pere Bono on trombone, José Antonio Guillem on tenor sax, Raúl Reverter on alto and Albert Cruz on trumpet. The music throughout is excellent, the large horn section embellishing several tracks. José handles most of the lead vocals and has quite a strong accent so you need to listen carefully to catch all the lyrics. Tina is Zimbabwean and takes the lead or shares vocals with José on a couple of tracks.
The band opens with the familiar “Every Day I Have The Blues”, originally written by Pinetop Sparks but forever associated with BB King and the arrangement here follows BB’s 50’s version with plenty of horns and José and Tina trading verses, José producing a fine BB-styled solo. “Hurt You” is a ballad with the keys providing a warm backdrop against which José apologizes for his behavior before playing an agonized solo. The title track “Blue Truck” is a boogie tune that José starts before the horns and bass join in the fun as the tune shuffles along attractively though the lyrics seemed less interesting: “I’m in the blue truck jamming, why don’t you come with me?”. Tina sings Elmore James’ “The Sky Is Crying” in an uptempo trio version driven by the busy rhythm section before “He Believes”, a full band production on which José and Tina share vocals. Tina’s vocals are spot-on for the dramatic ballad and José’s angst-ridden solo suits the song though his vocals on the first and last verses are a bit of a struggle.
JJ switches to piano and the horns add some jazzy touches on the attractive “Troubles With Women” while “You Said” adds some funk to the mix and “Never Comes Noon” finds José waiting on the sun to emerge over a busy drum track and the horns pushing things along, their final contribution to the album. A trio version of Hendrix’s “Hear My Train A Comin’” is the third cover and allows José to plays some authentic-sounding Hendrixisms before the album closes with a stripped-back acoustic blues “Before You Get Closer”. Tina sings this one very well with just José on acoustic guitar and Joan Pau Cumellas on harp and it is an effective piece of country blues.
Overall a pretty successful album with a good variety of styles on show.