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The Veldman Brothers - Bringin' It To You Live

Self Released

12 tracks

Ben and Gerry are not only Vermont ice cream makers. Bennie and Gerrit Veldmen are a pair of blues men from the Netherlands with a smoking hot sound. Bennie is a masterful Hammond organ and harp player, Gerrit plays guitar and slide with passion and both sing soulfully. Donald Van Der Goes and Marco Overkamp are the backline on bass and drums respectively, and are a good anchor to the sound. The brothers Veldman are top notch blues men whose sound is outstanding.

Bennie plays the organ on five of the cuts; his keyboard work is fiery and impressive and he is no slouch on harp, too. Gerry's guitar work is also outstanding and vocally the two of them do a bang up job on this live album. It is great to hear the new waves of European blues bands do so well.

The CD opens with a stinging instrumental called "2 Times 360" and I was hooked from the beginning. The Brothers go back and forth on lead and duets and it is so cool! The organ is amazingly alive and the guitar flies high- what a great introduction to their music that this song was! The boys wrote this song along with five others performed here. The other half of the album are well-selected and even better performed covers. The first cover is a nice rendition of Dave Bartholomew's "Country Boy" and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Thoughtful, not over done, with some juicy finger picking along with some good vocals.

The other covers are Kim Wilson's "I Believe I'm In Love With You," Hendrix' "Up From the Skies," John Lee Hookers "Boom Boom," Ry Cooder's "Feelin' Bad Blues," and the classic "Killing Floor." Wilson's tune gets a little country fried rockabilly guitar and a vocal duet that make it fun and spicy, and then Bennie comes on in with some mean harp. The organ on the Hendrix cut makes this their own special version, and the vocals have almost a British invasion sound quality to them. I had concerns before I listened to Mr. Hooker's tune, but these guys are not a "cover" band. They do a nice little lead in and then the organ and guitar take over. The vocals are emotive and expressive, and the overall sound is soulful and nice. The organ adds punch and a lot of freshness to the cut, and Bennie playfully and tastefully adds a few Steppenwolf "Born to be Wild" measures to the organ solo to spice things up. The guitar solos stands up next to the organ solo- these guys are for real. Gerritt gives us some sweet slide for the Ry Cooder cut, opening with a soulful sound of his solo guitar and Bennie adds some harp to blend in- a very cool and well thought out approach to this nstrumental track. Loved it! The Howlin' Wolf Song gets treatment as both blues and rock, done in Veldman Brothers style. The tempo is turned up a tad, the vocals, B3 and guitar solos are solid and you just want to dance your ass of to it.

"Need to Know" is word by Bennie and music composed by the pair of Veldmans. Sung in a Slim Harpo sort of style, the boys impressed me with a driving tune with a big sound, including over-blown harp and a heavy beat. "Target" is blues rocking in a well done style. Huge guitar, wailing harp sounds, and big vocals. In "Heading for the Door" they gives us straight up Chicago blues that hearken to Willie Dixon. Nicely done, and it serves as a good lead in to "Killing Floor." "Tell Me Baby" opens to the guitar and harp trading measures back and forth and then a nasty beat takes over and the duo blazes in a dirty sounding groove boogying all over the place. More great solos abound. They close the set with a predominantly instrumental song simply called "Boogie;" then go on for just shy of ten minutes but they did not lose me- it was a fun ride as they trade solos and play together. Wildly fun!

If it sounds like I was impressed and enjoyed myself, you got it right. This is an outstanding live CD that gives you the essence of the music these two guys and their band can produce. I loved the CD and highly recommend it- well done!

Reviewer Steve Jones is president of the Crossroads Blues Society and is a long standing blues lover. He is a retired Navy commander who served his entire career in nuclear submarines. In addition to working in his civilian career since 1996, he writes for and publishes the bi-monthly newsletter for Crossroads, chairs their music festival and work with their Blues In The Schools program. He resides in Byron, IL.

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