18 tracks 1 hour, 15 minutes
GProject Blues Band puts Bavaria on the blues map with their second release Diversified on Timezone Records. This quartet throws a lot of music at the listener, and they take common blues stylings to get down for over an hour. Michael Staudenmyer plinks the keys and handles vocals. Leonidas Kyriakakos is on guitar, TomBo and James Ransom keep time on drums and bass respectively. Diversified covers a lot of ground and you’ll find an assorted mix of shuffles, boogies and slow blues.
Staudenmyer’s piano work holds a lot of tracks together. It’s a very lively style of playing and goes well with the grooves. GProject holds past blues legends in high regard and they reference their heroes on several occasions. You’ll hear homages to Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and John Lee Hooker. The album bears an illustration of the Chicago skyline with the John Hancock Center prominently holding up the band name. GProject composed most of the tunes and on some tracks they go out of the blues playpen to give the listener a peek into their other musical aspirations.
“Last Man Standing,” takes the “Hoochie Coochie Man,” approach and is brought up to par with Kyriakakos’s down and dirty guitar work. “True Lies” is an all-out rock and roll song that is made for some dancing couples. GProject takes a dark turn on “Out Of Hell.” It’s somewhat reminiscent of a trippy Pink Floyd ballad and has a lot of show stopping production.
GProject clearly put in a lot of time and effort on Diversified. Although they reflect on blues performers of the past, it doesn’t have the romping feel of those past artists. The glossy studio sound, along with the confessional style lyrics, sometimes takes away from the rip-roaring potential of their songs.
Give our Bavarian friends a look if you’re wondering what kind of blues is coming out near the Alps. They respect the blues as much as anybody and aren’t afraid to show it. Dig on their playing too, and Diversified just might be for you.