Bad Blues Quartet
Bad Blues Quartet, self-published, 2017
Review of Daniele Mei, translated by Daniela Schirru
I can calmly say that Bad Blues Quartet, with this their first record, have realized a masterpiece.
A work where the main keyword is the balance. Neither many nor less notes. The virtuosity and the skill of the every member of the group in constant evidence and each of them with their own role and a well-defined space.
The truly remarkable voice of Eleonora Usala, with Federico Valenti’s guitar, is a benefit. The rhythmic section, with Simone Arca on bass and Frank Stara on drum, is precise and direct as a steam intercity that flies faster in the suburban station.
I have firstly ignored them, finding them too “good” in spite of their name. I lacked time to deepen my knowledge on them, too much taken by so many other things. In addition, I think that the tenth position on our ranking about the best records in the 2017 may be not the correct one.
In a blues landscape that now in Sardinia is at its highest moments, they undoubtedly place themselves among the most interesting things. They differ and trace a path, untied from the rest, an important groove.
Nothing of new, clearly, but I do not think that it is the purpose of any blues group being a newborn. In addition, anyway, I believe that in this album there is, actually, an essential balance among freshness, classicism, conservation and looking beyond.
However, to make these Bad Blues really “bad” are their texts.
From sick and bad love affairs in Me and My David’s Blues, to never betraying love, like that for music. Then we move on to another dangerous, but different kind of love, as the one told in Walker’s Blues, where the main protagonist is the whiskey. Obviously, with Diego Milia on harmonics. There is also a surprising moment in seeing a tiny place in the most hidden Sardinian. A place full of beauty and blues, like in Nureci.
The evasion of Snort some daisies, where just escaping, taking things lightly, dancing and snorting an innocuous daisy, is like going beyond the boring everyday life, The melancholy sensuality of Illusion’s song: a journey that seems a dream that become the shout of a woman who do not want to be locked up by a man. A man who in reality is a monster. A recurring story this one.
The bass turns like a pleasure, the guitar solo infinite, psychedelic, the voice essentially evokes three types of images and feelings: sex, energy charge and warmth. However, these are constant moments of this record, like the drum on its piece, which knows how to be both a protagonist and a minion in the same way.
The funniest moments are interspersed with ballads such as Illusion’s song and that I think is the absolute climax. That Me and My David’s Blues, where Eleonora’s voice is exceeded, increasing my personal load of testosterone. Long, evocative, powerful, with a text that tells an important, heartfelt story. We climb, touching the highest peaks.
Steve Ray Vaughan is everywhere. In Behind the Hat (SRV) we celebrate what is perhaps their main point of reference, even though to make it an excellence work is Alessio Sanna’s Hammond, one of their hosts in this album. Then the final solo does the rest. A gorgeous song.
Closes the circle,
a collective song like in beautiful families. All to sing a traditional song, that Go Down Old Hannah, which comes from the blues prehistory. With one of the Sardinian blues fathers, Vittorio Pitzalis, and another big shot like Ruben Massidda to embellish the song.
“Sunset, fierce sun
And do not rise anymore
And if you come up in the morning
Burn all that ‘I’m world “
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