Purple Bluze – Without Any Doubt
9 tracks / 46:48
Purple Bluze is a trio out of Graz, Austria, and its members include Harald Federer on guitars and vocals, Christian Seiner on bass, and Christian Pischel behind the drum kit. The band describes their genre as Blues/Rock/Funk, and their influences as Keith Urban, Jimi Hendrix, Deep Purple, Free, and John Mayer. The listener will catch all of this, along with a little country, jazz, and a touch of the Velvet Underground. This group of artists really stretches themselves musically, and the band sure tries to work these styles into their music.
Without Any Doubt is the third disc from Purple Bluze, and all nine of its songs were written by Federer, who also took on the producer and engineering roles for this project. Mixing was handled by Michael Scheiden at imikemix.com and this disc was mastered by Ludwig Maier at GKG Mastering. Purple Bluz might work as a trio, but the listener will find five other guest artists that sat in on various tracks to fulfill Federer’s vision for what this album could be.
Their 45-minute set kicks off with “There’s an Alien in My Café,” a funky blues rocker with a heavy backbeat, a hint of country, and gnarly bass work from Seiner. Federer’s vocals are pure Lou Reed and guest artist Juliana Primas-Schaider provides backing vocals (as she does on most of the tracks). As you might be wondering, the songs are in English and there is no accent to the vocals, though some of the pronunciations are unconventional and the song titles can be challenging. Though Federer did an admirable job with the guitar solo on the opener, he turns these duties over to Edi Fenzl for the next track, “Without Any Doubt.”This is greasy roadhouse blues with a modern feel, and Fenzl’s solo is smooth and tasty, like a frozen custard from Culver’s!
Enzo Sutera take the guitar solo on “Let it Hail,” a sweet piece of yacht rock with a catchy chorus. Then there is “To Relume My World,” which sent me right to the dictionary since I had not run into the word “relume” during my 23 years of formal education. It turns out that this means “relight or rekindle” which is pretty cool when you put it in context. This jazz-influenced song features Jan Federer on drums, Klemens Pliem on saxophone, and Francis Key Scheidl on the piano. Even though it is really laid back, this song rocks in its own way, and it is one of the standout tracks on the album.
Another of the big winners from this disc is “Sorry About Your Headache,” a nearly ten-minute blues jam with melodic guitar leads that are straight out of the Gary Moore playbook. This somber blues rocker features lovely electric piano from Scheidl, and it is a well-crafted tune that has a lovely build of suspense throughout. Then there are a few tracks that are kind of way out there, such as “To Cast Prudence to the Wind,” which includes samples of John Lee Hooker’s “Boom Boom” vocals. Thiscan be seen as sacrilegious or brilliant, and either way it does make one wonder if Federer got the blessing from Hooker’s estate before including it in the mix. And finally, the closer, “Funky Stuff,” lives up to its name with wah pedal-soaked guitar, fat bass lines, and sweet keyboard work.
This is an interesting project, and one thing is for sure, Without Any Doubt is a musical adventure and the members of Purple Bluze have proven that they are not afraid to experiment and innovate. Regardless of how you want to categorize their music, it is certainly a fun listen. Be sure to check out their website to hear some of their music; maybe it will be just what you are looking for!