When I said a few days back that I’m tired and bored of music because music became only the additional sub-product of an exclusively profit oriented industry and the true values (the music) were replaced by fad, predictable, patterned and instantly forgettable (background) noises. In this world, in this frightening circumstances, Mr. Burdon and his youngster new allies, The Greenhornes, delivered balm for my (ears and) soul.
In a world where nothing seems genuine anymore, 71 years old Eric Burdon, the man who led The Animals in the 60s and the War in the 70s, proves – once again – that music it’s music when it’s still played with soul.
While Burdon was ranked 57th in Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time; the Garage Rock band The Greenhornes from Cincinnati, Ohio, are less famous. Formed in 1996 by vocalist/guitarist Craig Fox, bass guitarist Jack Lawrence and drummer Patrick Keeler, they released four albums, one EP and one compilation. In 2005 Lawrence and Keeler formed The Raconteurs with Jack White and Brendan Benson which eventually bring them some more exposure.
Released on November 23rd as part of Record Store Day’s “Black Friday”, this 4 track self-titled EP it’s a raw, pounding, powerful modern Blues release flavored with noises and garage feel. If this is not genuine, don’t know what it is.
Two songs premiered in two mainstream magazines: “Black Dog” was featured in Rolling Stone while “Out Of My Mind” in Paste Magazine. Before listening into the release, while I was looking at the tracklist I thought “Black Dog” is a Led Zeppelin cover. Well, I was wrong.
The term “Black Dog” was borrowed by Burdon from Winston Churchill, Britain’s prime minister during World War II, who referred to the “black dog of depression” to describe that period of dark despair. The song was born after Burdon injured himself slipping on a patch of ice and falling a few years back, and since then living in agony under a constant state of duress. “The only time I wasn’t in pain was when I was onstage” – he told to Rolling Stone.
The track it’s contorted, slow grinding heavy Blues. Simple, straight, truly driven, and surprisingly intense.
The following “Out Of My Mind” and “Can You Win”, both are more classic flavored Blues Rock themes, while the closing “Cab Driver” reminds me both of Tom Waits and Klezmer fueled bar Jazz with a healthy dose of irony and twisted criticism from Burdon.
A couple of more songs as the opening and closing ones would be bless. I’m not a genuine Blues consumer, but this ride it’s truly fresh and refreshing.