The Blues Mystery – Soul Memories | Album Review

The Blues Mystery – Soul Memories

PBR Records – 2018

12 tracks; 47 minutes

The Blues Mystery have been around since 2013 and this is their third album. Based in Switzerland the band consists of two Swiss, Irénée Pralong on guitar and Gege Brown on drums, one Canadian, Walter K Thut on bass and harp and Frenchman Willy Matt who sings and plays guitar and slide. All the band members provide B/V’s, along with Louisa Thut and Kenny Matt adds a guitar solo to one track. The disc was produced and recorded over a year by Walter and Willy who wrote all the material between them.

As a vocalist Willy has a reasonable range but does have an accent when delivering the songs. Despite the album title there is not a lot of soul influences here unless some wah-wah rhythm work on “High Level Woman” counts; the general approach is blues-rock with plenty of guitar featured. Most of the songs are about relationships though Walter takes a more serious approach with the heavy (lyrically and musically) “Has Humankind Lost Its Soul?” in which he talks of being “a machine, some production factor in a dark scene”, the gloomy lyrics well counterpointed by some good fretwork.

The following four tracks are the highlights in this reviewer’s opinion:

Track 04: “I’m Afraid Of The Next Blues”. A song about fearing the future, the chorus vocals bringing to mind The Stones’ “Sympathy For The Devil”, a feeling amplified by some very 60’s rock guitar.

Track 06: “Time To Forgive”. A quieter tune which lyrically again deals with fears while the guitars lay down some moody chords on the longest track of the album at just short of five minutes.

Track 11: “Keep On Working”. In the mood for some foot-tapping music with rocking guitar set against a blues background? This is the one!

Track 12: “Look Out Mama” – a dark tale of a child seriously injured in a traffic accident, the stark lyrics played over just acoustic guitar and arguably Willy’s best vocal of the set.

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