Gerfast – Legendary Grooves
CD: 8 Songs, 37 Minutes
Styles: Contemporary Electric Blues Rock, All Original Songs
Here’s a thought experiment: Would you listen to an album entitled “Fair to Middling” or “Meh”? Probably not. A catchy title can mean the difference between a purchase and a pass. Jan Gerfast, a Swedish blues artist, has gone all out in advertising Legendary Grooves. Does he deliver them on the eight original songs featured here? That depends. If you’re a fan of SRV and bands like the Veldman Brothers, this CD will be right up your alley. It’s heavy on keyboards and wah-wah funk, eliciting high energy. It’s also got some terrific guitar solos, such as the lengthy one in the middle of “Shame On You” and the fiery staccato of “You Know the Deal.” The rhythm grooves are also solid, but they’re on the basic side. A bit more variation would have served Gerfast and his posse well. Vocally, one can tell Jan’s not from the United States, but his lyrics are more than serviceable. Last but not least, this is a contemporary blues ROCK album, so be prepared not to hear any of the old masters’ styles. Instead, be prepared to play air shredder!
Jan Gerfast was born in 1954 and raised in Osby, a small town in the south of Sweden. He began to play blues guitar at the end of the ’60s, developing a passion that would last for more than 50 years. In the ‘70s he lived as a vagabond, staying in Paris, France as a street musician and playing in a jazz club there later on. He came home again and started an experimental rock band called Blue Night. Gerfast describes his existence at the time as “a kind of hippie life in the woods.” At the beginning of the ’80s, he was backing up other Swedish artists live and in the studio. He moved to Stockholm in 1984 and played with musicians from all over Sweden, touring from south to north and playing different styles of improvised music. He’s also been to Holland, Belgium and Poland on tour. In 2020, he moved back to Osby again. He has released 11 albums in his own name thus far.
Joining Gerfast (guitar and vocals) are Magic Mama on keys and vocals, Per Lindberg on drums, Magic Man on bass, and Simon Cop on drums for track eight, “Psychedelic Blue.”
Jan’s grooves may not be legendary in the United States, but if he keeps up the high quality of his music and expands his repertoire, they will be.