Jörg Danielsen – Guess Who’s Got the Blues
Wolf Records 120.986
12 songs – 43 minutes
Austrian guitarist Jörg Danielsen literally blanketed the world to produce this album, a power-blues trio set that primarily delivers original material with the amped up feel of 1950s Chicago. He and his bandmates – who bill themselves as the Vienna Blues Association – recorded this disc in Switzerland, but it was mastered in Argentina before being released on Wolf Records, his hometown label.
Now in his late 30s, Danielsen was born in Vienna but raised in what he terms the middle of nowhere far out in the country. He fell in love with the music as a child through his father and claims to have “terrorized” classmates with it through school. At age 16, he and his dad attended a concert by local favorites Peter Kern and Sigi Fassi in the Austrian capital and made such an impression that Danielsen eventually decided to launch his own musical career.
Jörg founded his first band three years later, and hasn’t looked back. This CD is a follow-up to his 2018 release, Chicago Blues Straight Outta Buenos Aires, a disc he recorded with several top South American artists. A frequent host of jams, he’s been very active in the studio recently, producing one CD in partnership with guitarist Edi Fenzl and two others with his trio bandmates, Walter Walterson on bass and Christoph Karas on drums, a solid team who provide backing vocals here.
This set was captured and mixed by Felix Müller at Tonstudio Nagelfabrik Vintage Recording in Wetzikon, Switzerland, and mastered by Daniel DeVita in Buenos Aires. Danielsen has a driving, single-note attack on six-string and sings in a complimentary tenor that’s hindered somewhat by lyrics delivered in English colored by the accent of his homeland.
The band fires out of the gate with four originals, beginning with “Twice as Blue,” an incredibly fast shuffle that offers up the familiar advice that, if you have a good woman, you’d better treat her right. Danielsen’s mid-tune and closing solos are on point. The tempo slows slightly for the stop-time “Sunshine, Sunshine” with Jörg chording to support his vocals that yearn for a reunion with his lady before laying down more tasty runs.
“Pour Me Some Whiskey,” a medium-paced Windy City blues built on a repetitive riff, follows before the syncopated “Keep It Straight” offers up a plea for honesty in dealing with fellow human beings. “Whisky Drinking Woman,” penned by American jazz great Lou Donaldson, is delivered as a slow blues before the stop-time original, “I Don’t Care,” which borrows heavily from Willie Mabon’s “I Don’t Know” at the open before evolving into something new.
The self-penned instrumental, “Monkey Jump,” comes across with a ‘50s feel before two more originals, the rocker “All I Need” and “When Will You Be Mine,” a two-step, Gulf Coast-style pleaser. Three covers — Clay Hammond’s “Part Time Love,” once a major hit for Little Johnny Taylor, Don Nix’s familiar “Same Old Blues” and Magic Slim’s “Bad Boy” – bring the album to a close.
There’s no question that Danielsen and his crew had a blast making this one. It comes through in the grooves. Available through Amazon and other online outlets, it’s a pleasant, occasionally derivative production that will still have you bopping despite its minor flaws.