Rick Galusha's Pacific St. Blues and Americana

Since inception (1989), Pacific St. Blues & Americana strives to be a discerning voice helping roots fans sift through the mountains of music released every year. We are not for everyone; we want to engage active, critical listeners that hear beyond d'jour. Interviews include: Johnny Winter, Bill Wyman (Rolling Stones), Jerry Wexler, Tommy Shannon & Chris Layton, B.B. King, Dr. John, Robin Trower, Robben Ford, Mato Nanji, Joe Bonamassa, Harry Manx, Sue Foley, Marshall Chess, Billy Lee Riley, Charlie Louvin, Kim Richey, Radney Foster, Eric Johnson, David Clayton Thomas, Al Kooper, Phil Chen (Wired, Blow By Blow), Ian McLagan, Art Neville, Southside Johnny, Miami Steve Van Zant, Nils Lofgren, Bruce Iglauer, Charlie Musselwhite, Studebaker John, Chris Duarte, Smokin' Joe Kubeck, Hamilton Loomis, Peter Karp, Roomful of Blues, James Harman, Hadden Sayers, Malford Milligan, Melvin Taylor, Otis Taylor, Dave Alvin, Coco Montoya, Jimmy Thackery, Marsha Ball, Maria Muldaur, Shelby Lynne, Magic Dick & J. Geils, Lil' Milton, BuddyGuy, Aynsley Lister, Matt Schofield, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, Guy Clark, Joe Ely, James Cotton, Robin & Jesse Davey, Hugh Coltman (Hoax), Sean Kelly (Samples), John Entwistle (The Who), Mark Olson (Jayhawks), Walter Wolfman Washington, Anthony Gomes, Bob Malone, Chubby Carrier, Buckwheat Zydeco, Murali Coryell, David Jacob Strain, DeAnna Bogart, Michael Lee Firkins, Guy Davis, Jason Ricci, John Doe, Little Feat, Matt Woods, MikeZito, Peter Buffett, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Corky Siegel, Todd Park Mohr, Watermelon Slim, Magic Slim, Corey Harris,- - - - - - ------------------------Radio archives: http://www.kiwrblues.podomatic.com/. Playlists: http://www.omahablues.com/ Reviews featured in http://www.blueswax.com/. Email: KIWRblues@gmail.com Live online; Sundays 9 a.m. (-6 GMT) http://www.897theriver.com/

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Album Review: Mike Anderson, tomorrow

Artist: Mike Andersen Band
Title: Tomorrow
Writer: Rick Galusha

This is not a blues album; however, it is a good album.

European Mike Andersen slants his second album, Tomorrow, with a strong Black American R n’ B feel and like many talented artists tries to amalgamate several genres into one unique voice. Andersen ties together horn driven blues as heard on the track, ‘One More’ together with rap, as heard on the opening track, ‘Same Damm Time’ with a highly rhythmatic, organ driven B.B. King ballad as heard on, ‘Lessons.’

On initial listens Tomorrow is a rich, diversified album and Andersen, a vocal crooner with short cropped hair and dark suit, very Robert Palmer like in his delivery, as heard on the beautiful ‘We Don’t Make Love.’ It may be that Andersen’s effort is hampered by trying to grab too many styles and fit them into one sound. The first listen was slow but the album quickly opened up.

This is an album with excellent musicianship, songs, and arrangements. It touches several musical bases which may put off some listeners: I quickly skipped over the opening track, Same Damm Thing, as Andersen’s use of “rap” has no appeal to me. This record is not rootsy on any level but is rather a polished album that will appeal more to the recreational listener as opposed to a “musicologist.” To put it another way, in the early-80’s millions of Americans bought Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA. Packed with hit singles Bruce’s album managed to encapsulate an era; however, today, among my friends at least, they are more prone to throw on, ‘The Wild, The Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle.’ Andersen is akin to Springsteen’s second release in that it is not formula-like in its execution and subsequently more likely to have a longer shelf life and listened to with greater enjoyment.

Tomorrow is a niche release with faux-pop(ular) songs that swing with familiar blues instrumentation and playing. This is an excellent album to play while driving your car and should be heard, loudly, on a high end stereo as it is mixed to fill the room with tasty melodies and wonderful vocal lines. Andersen’s efforts to leap the pond and develop an audience in North America may or may not work but I would advise keeping an eye on this guy as whatever “it” is, he has “it.”

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