Hybrid Blues – Hybrid Blues
CD: 11 Songs, 38 Minutes
Styles: Contemporary Acoustic and Electric Blues, Rock, All Original Songs
One of the best things about the blues is how it’s spread to all points of the globe, even as far away as the “Land of the Long White Cloud” – New Zealand. It’s literally a world apart from Beale Street, New Orleans, and “Sweet Home Chicago.” Nevertheless, it has inspired the Hybrid Blues band to compose their new self-titled album. Their brand of this magazine’s favorite music is zesty and full of flavor, combining flair and powerful presence with shades of Santana and Eric Clapton Unplugged.
These guys know what they’re doing, as should all blues artists, but they infuse their competence with the glory of the island’s sun. Their instrumentation is crisp and precise despite its volume – high even when it’s low. Their robust vocals add sizzle, though their lyrics aren’t always discernible. Check out “Devil Within” for an example. It’s got the fire of the Adversary’s lair, but that scorches everything else. Contrast it with “English Lady,” the very next track. Its harmonies bring Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young to mind, and its bass ain’t bad, either.
Recently signed by the USA’s SGNB Records, Hybrid Blues is a quality quartet: Mike Everard, Adam Pendred, and Mark Schaumann, fronted by award winning singer-songwriter Roy Hudson. After Roy’s impressive musical career in the UK/Europe, he has returned to his homeland in furthering his passion for the DNA of all modern music: the blues. Released in September 2020, this album is sure to garner radio and other media attention while folks stuck at home long for sea and sand. If COVID has taught us anything, it’s that the best vacations are the ones we take in our minds. This band lets you do that in spades: they’re all about good vibes and good times.
If their blues is Hybrid, what’s it a hybrid of? Anything and everything. They characterize it as a “mixed soup of genres,” according to an interview with Muzique Magazine. Indeed it is. That’s why purists should steer clear, but fans who like their blues well-fused will surely enjoy it.
Searing rock-and-roll numbers make up most of this CD’s eleven songs, but the acoustic opener “Adios” and the meditative “Go With the Flow” are absolutely beautiful. “Leaving on a Train” will put you in a pensive mood, but to get you out of it, they offer a gritty stomp about a “Lonely Man.” “Sunshine,” the closer, is warm and relaxing like the breeze on an Aotearoa (NZ) beach.
Muzique Magazine posed the question: “On your current project, how did you come up with the concept?” The band’s answer? “Life.” No more need be said. Hybrid Blues knows what’s what.