Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Album Review: "Wild Boars and Trains" by Johnny B Beast

Wild Boars and Trains 
Let's again celebrate the universal language that is music.

Close your eyes and think about blues.

When I do that, I see a very smoky bar with someone playing a guitar up front and singing, but how much of that can you see now?

I can't name many places in my town where I can go see a man singing his heart out. Follow the path, the Blues started in the American south, moved the Tennessee, and on to Chicago.

From Chicago to London and all points beyond. Americans took back the Blues from the English, and now we're looking a man from the former Soviet Republic, Latvia playing his own brand of the Blues.

I can't tell you much about his homeland other than naming off a few NHL hockey players here and there, but I can tell you he's got some blues to share with you.

Johnny B Beast
I also don't know much about the man in question.

I know that he's playing on a "selfmade chessbox guitar," that he has a dark singing voice, and that he's just released an album of dark, sparse, and powerful blues.

If you're looking for Chicago Blues, well, you'll have to keep looking.

This man has crafted songs around his guitar. It's a bit reminiscent of John Lee Hooker. He's singing and playing chords. Here and there you'll find percussion and harmonica, but other than those accents, we're looking at a sparse album.

Needless to say, there's plenty of room in these songs to breathe.

What I enjoyed the most, wasn't his guitarwork, or his lyrics, but his voice and tempo. His lack of guitar melody never struck me too much because he thumps it vocally.

Dark and powerful...a touch above monotone and rhythmic.

Check out this Latvian import today.

Release: 6/19/15
Genre: Blues
Label: DIY
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