Detonics – Detonize | Album Review

Detonics – Detonize

Naked Records

10 tracks

The Detonics are a band from the Netherlands comprised of Kars van Nus on lead vocals and blues harp, Raymond Nijenhuis on the guitar, Raimond de Nijs and piano and Hammond organ, Mathijs Roks playing drums and Wilfred Pieters on  upright bass and backing vocals. Founded in 2014, the band won the Dutch Blues Challenge in 2016 and wound up representing Europe in the 2017 International Blues Challenge. I saw them at Buddy Guys when they competed in the Semi-Finals and I must say I was impressed with them as I am with this great album!

One has to like a band that says this about themselves: “As soon as Detonics plays, the atmosphere of prostitution, illegal casinos, home-distilled whiskey and Al Capone arises. The fact that this is a big hit with the blues audience is evident from the steaming performances in international venues and festivals.” These guys embody west Coast Blues and they can swing and boogie with the best of them. They have a genuine sound and these five young men do a stand up job delivering some fine music. This is their third album since coming together and I really enjoyed it.

Ten original tracks are featured on this album.  They start with “Too Far Away,” a nice jump blues with great guitar and organ work. Van Nus also sings and swings just like a Californian. Next up is “Mean Machine” with a driving, honky-tonk boogie going to make you feel like getting up and dancing. “Why Were You Lying” follows, with a slower tempo as van Nus croons for us. Another nice guitar solo and we get a harp solo, too. “It’s Gotta Be Me” is a bouncy and fun cut with swinging piano and guitar to enjoy. “Love Is Gone” is a slow and pensive tome with pretty guitar and organ work that make it special.

The boys go a little cowboy with the western sounding “Money Train.” Then it’s the rocking “Life’s Your Best Friend” with a deep groove gives the listener a throbbing, pulsating and fun ride. “Backdoor Annie” is pure swinging, jumping blues with a nice guitar lead to introduce us to the piece and take us through. Van Nus gives us more sweet vocals and a little harp to savor, too. “Memphis” highlights their trip to the IBC, singing about the trip to Beale Street.  It’s a fun cut with piano and guitar supplementing the vocals. They conclude with “Hard Way To Go,” a pretty ballad with just vocals. Guitar and harp. It’s sublime and cool.

Lots of variety in these ten super original cuts. If you like to swing and want to hear how the folks across the big pond can jump just like we do, then check this one out. The Detonics are an authentic jump blues band who I most highly recommend!

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