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The Veldman Brothers - Spreadin’ Around

Self Release

11 songs; 48:58 minutes

Styles: Blues-Rock, Harmonica infused traditional blues

SRV! Aficionados of 1980’s blues know exactly of whom I speak: the late Stevie Ray Vaughan. When he passed, the blues world lost one of its modern paragons. He may not be with us anymore, but his style echoes throughout a magnificent blues CD by a duo deemed the Veldman Brothers. You might guess they're from Chicago or Texas, but they hail from across the Atlantic. That's right: Holland isn't just for tulip-sighting anymore!

Before you start perusing what is perhaps the most riveting offering of 2011 from a foreign blues artist, hear this: They grow on you. The more one listens, the more one is prone to fall under their spell! Some may sneer: “Their guitars are too loud, and their song selection is not representative of real blues.” Don't listen to them! Instead, sit back, relax, and do whatever you enjoy most as you absorb their music.

Gerrit and Bennie Veldman are two siblings who'll admit, from time to time, “[We're] not that man. [We're] just poor souls with some blues inside.” You know they mean it. They haven't sung these eleven original songs just for the cash. If they had, they wouldn't have poured such gut-wrenching emotion, nearing ferocity, into every note they play. Sometimes it's too much—the Veldmans pull no punches and mince no words. However, that's when one turns the blast of music down, not off! At the end of this roller-coaster ride, one might feel ecstatic exhaustion.

Each of their eleven original songs is like a stick of dynamite waiting to explode into your consciousness, whether it's a rollicking opener like the title track or a powerful 6/8-timed swayer like “Leavin'.” The only two that are jarring are “Need to Know”--with perfectly unquotable lyrics save the three words in the title—and “Questions,” which is placed on the album a little too late and a lot too long. Aside from “Leavin',” the best slow blues number this reviewer's heard this year, the other masterpiece is “Evil.” It's an up-tempo ballad that's “on the down low” about the Devil and his schemes.

You know what? I was wrong. “SRV” may be channeled some here on “Spreadin' Around,” but the Veldman Brothers deserve far more credit than that. They're not imitators; they're true blues.

Reviewer Rainey Wetnight is a 31 year old female Blues fan. She brings the perspective of a younger blues fan to reviews. A child of the 1980s music, she was strongly influenced by her father’s blues music collection.

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