David Vidal : A momentum of obviousness

Blues is one of the American music hearts. It is the backbone of music. Coming from African and European cultures and songsters, it is a tradition which is still alive. An to do so, we need guardians. Some folks who are able to keep the flame.

We all know big names of Blues (I assume you know at least a bit about American music if you’re reading this website), some are even Legends ! But music doesn’t belong to museums. And if there’s some Blues heroes who should be in the Hall of Fame, there’s also thousands of singers scattered in the whole world who spread this universal music with passion and talent.

Thus, there is little everyday heroes. People who continues to work on Blues to make it a living music forever. In this category, I’d like to talk about David Vidal. His Blues is an instant love, a powerful expression of obviousness. A slide guitar, or an electric cigar-box, and a voice, he needs no more to do such a miracle.

Raised in New Mexico and Colorado, he traveled a lot in the United Stated and even went to Merida in Mexico hopping on freight trains. Living on the road makes your soul bigger for sure. He learned guitar by himself as a teenager with a book of Blues standards and I do think it shows a lot about his spirit and how in anchored music in his soul.

With four critically acclaimed albums, I am obviously not the only to consider his work a masterpiece. It is like a testimony of what music is. His latest record, World of Trouble, is unfortunately so true about our world.
He talks about politics (”Political Man”) and the world complexity (”A Big Electric Universe”) with such a precise view that he's focused on the human part of everything. It’s about the weakness of everybody, the hunger for power, selfishness, and our heart’s lack of strength that make us so fragile even we play tough (”My Own World Has Broken Down”). He still knows hope has to be set on love and human emotions that he knows how to beautifully picture (”Flying”). We build the world we live in, but sometimes in the craziness of our own paths we do need a poet to remind us this simple fact.

David Vidal’s music is unique and extremely moving. It won’t change your world. It’ll enlighten it by opening your eyes. World of Trouble is a special momentum you do need to live fully. I bet you won’t be exactly the same after that.


Benjamin Folke Thomas : Americana quintessential

Since we were talking about Sweden in the last review, let’s continue this time. Here is Benjamin Folke Thomas who’s based in London for five years by now. The perfect city to launch a music career considering it might be the European music city capital.

Even if he didn’t succeed at the first try like in his dreams (he thought he "would be famous by the time [he] was 21" like he says in the CD booklet), Benjamin’s Americana Folk-inspired music worth to be listened. The label “Bucketfull of Brains” understood this point in 2010 when they released the first EP of Folke Thomas. After touring a lot in 2012 and increasing considerably his fanbase, Benjamin released with his label his first true album : Too Close To Here.

This wonderful record has been re-released in 2014 by Bucketfull of Brains/Proper Music, a proof of its good quality. Soulful, true, deep, there is a lot of adjectives available to describe the music from this record. You can enjoy the natural and simple writing skill sung with an almost naked voice only covered by subtle raspiness on it.

It’s this kind of folkishness that change the scale of Folke Thomas’ music. Even when electric guitars and drums came in line we do keep some acoustic feelings which are still floating in the air. So, we easily loose ourselves in the music but, on the other hand, keep focused on the voice and words.

Realistic, moving by the ability to draw stories rather than just telling about it, the songs from this album find their way to our heart, almost bypassing our brains. And if there’s a music genre where feelings and words should obviously work together is Blues. Thus, when Benjamin Folke Thomas goes on this side of his music with songs like “Ok Blues” we realize how well he understood the essence of the music he plays. With simple words he talks about simple feelings we all had and by this way, turns his music into a universal language. Composition itself tells almost everything. Classic, like the one you would like to find in any bar. Sometimes it twangs just enough to start moving your hips or tapping your foot and other times it’s made of beautiful and moving arpeggios.

Americana is definitely the right word to define the music of Too Close To Here. It’s a perfect mix of Folk and Blues into a bunch of songs made to be listen anywhere, anytime. Some tunes to keep in mind and to enjoy all day long.