By Jeff Stevens
If you slipped the Blue Junction's debut CD in your player without looking at the liner notes, you might wonder where the disc was recorded. It feels like it could have been recorded in a Chicago club or perhaps a Mississippi Delta juke joint.
You probably wouldn't have guessed that the recording was made in Aarhus, Denmark, although the title might have given it away - "22:17 - Live in Aarhus." (Intermusic)
The band, which consists of Ole Frimer on vocals and guitar, Uffe Steen on guitar, Morten Brauner on bass and Esben Bach on drums, is a Danish super group of sorts, formed from various leading Danish blues bands. As I've never been to Denmark, I'll have to take their word on that.
I can tell you that "Live in Aarhus" has the self-assured feel of a seasoned blues band; certainly, one that is accustomed to laying down a funky groove for a club full of patrons ready to dance and drink a little beer.
The set, a mixture of originals and covers, includes "Tired Man" by Albert Collins and "Messin' With the Kid" by Junior Wells. The originals, mostly written by Frimer, range from the traditional Chicago blues of "If You Only Could Forgive Me" to the soulful ballad, "Done Foolin'."
The CD was recorded in 1998 at the Fatter Eskil club in Aarhus, but the band is gaining converts in recent months in the United States, including Bruce Iglauer, founder of American blues label, Alligator Records. "This band is certainly as good as many U.S. blues bands and better than most," Iglauer said.
As for the "22:17" in the album's title, it stands for the time the concert started (military time, of course.)
For more information about The Blue Junction, see the band's official Web site.
22:17 - Live in Aarhus
The Blue Junction
1. If You Only Could Forgive Me (Frimer)
2. Get Out of My Life Woman (A. Toussaint)
3. Tired Man (A. Collins)
4. Done Foolin' (Frimer)
5. Black Widow (Frimer)
6. Messin' with the Kid (Junior Wells)
7. Workin' Too Much (Frimer)
8. Junction Shuffle (Brauner, Bach, Steen, Frimer)
Ole Frimer, vocal and guitars
Morten Brauner, bass
Uffe Steen, guitar
Esben Bach, drums
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