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Open Blues – Piec Zlotych

HRPP Records 2012

11 tracks; 44.07 minutes

I reviewed the debut CD from this band in 2010. The line-up on this new CD is unchanged from that debut: harp/vocals (Przemyslaw Losos)), guitars (Wieslaw Krysewski), keyboards (Igor Nowicki), bass (Tomasz Imienowski) and drums (Grzegorz Minicz). The previous album featured a mix of originals and familiar covers; this time around all the songs are original and are sung in Polish. Most of the songs’ lyrics are by names from outside the band with music written by Open Blues. The album is well recorded and all instruments and vocals are clear in the mix.

Singer Losos has a good voice but without understanding the lyrics it is harder to give a proper consideration to the songs. From the titles the range seems to cover the usual topics but titles such as “Camel” and “Gadabout” suggest that lyrically Open Blues may have something interesting to offer. However, as a non-Polish speaker I will have to content myself to reviewing the music behind the words!

The first observation is that the songs are quite short, mainly around the 4 minute mark, so lengthy soloing is not part of the band’s approach. One of the band’s trump cards is that they can handle a good range of styles within and adjacent to the blues. For example track 1 is an uptempo rocker with an insistent guitar riff and some nice sustained notes on the harp break; the title track has a lighter, jazzier feel with piano to the fore and a call and response chorus; track 3 has more of a soul feel and, track 4 is a harp-led boogie. The remaining tracks offer a similar diversity and final track “You Have To Remember” is definitely not blues but is a beautifully constructed and sung ballad.

As ever, it is great to see how far the blues has spread out from its origins and full credit to this Polish band for putting together another well played and produced album. The CD is available from the band’s website.

Reviewer John Mitchell is a blues enthusiast based in the UK. He also travels to the States most years to see live blues music and enjoyed the Tampa Bay Blues Festival in April. 

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