Saturday, March 17, 2012
Volker Strifler -- "Let The Music Rise"
Volker Strifler is on the way up in the blues world, and this cd is his latest step. "Let The Music Rise" is his second solo release after many years as the frontman & sideman with Robben Ford in the Ford Brothers Band. Here Volker really comes into his own, showing off his talents as a song writer, guitar player, singer and producer.
The music is heavily infused with Volker’s unique style of Blues roots, taking the listener to the outer limits of the genre while combining the traditional with more modern, diverse musical styles. The traditional instrumentation of guitar, bass, keyboards and drums are augmented by a horn section, mandolin riffs, tuba and “the sounds of pots and pans.” Attempting to slot him into a single genre is futile! Influenced by original blues icons like Robert Johnson and Hound Dog Taylor to Muddy Waters, Peter Green, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Robben Ford, Volker Strifler has forged a style of his own.
Things open with a hot, horn-driven cover of Sleepy John Estes' "Going to Brownsville," which gives way to my favorite song here, "The Great Escape," which has a big spaghetti western guitar sound and those horns and a great vocal. Next up is "Redemption," which rides a Cuban groove and nicely apt lyrics and sweet sounds-like-Santana guitar. Only three songs in and I'm already impressed by this disc! Then the next song is the old Fleetwood Mac "Jigsaw Blues." one of my favorites, and Volker delivers a cool smoooooth cover, with a horn section, a piano, and a super cool guitar. If we lived in a perfect world this would be in heavy rotation on the radio. And after "Jigsaw Blues" things just continue to cook along--I really like the title cut, and "It's Getting Late" features acoustic guitar and Salvation Army-style horns, and "Last Night I Had A Dream" features electric guitar and top-notch vocals. The entire cd is terrific--no weak links anywhere.
With "Let The Music Rise" Strifler has grown--even though I liked his "Volker Strifler Band" cd, (2007) and it looked promising, this new disc takes a bigger leap forward. Volker has pushed his musicianship in an innovative direction, drawing from a broad palate of musical color to experiment with the blues — keeping it fresh. “My goal is to give the listener a sense of hearing something they won’t hear anywhere else.”
You can buy this disc at