Blues Bytes


December 2010

an associate

Order this CD today

The Latvian Blues Band
Blue Skunk Music

Latvian Blues Band

The Latvian Blues Band (Janis Bukovskis – vocal, guitar; Rolands Saulietis – drums; Reinis Ozolins – bass; Rihards Berzins – piano, organ) has been performing together since 1997, working in their native country of Latvia and also throughout Europe and Canada. They’ve toured in the United States occasionally, appearing at the Chicago Blues Festival, and most recently, they participated in the 2010 International Blues Challenge in Memphis. They’ve backed such blues luminaries as Bob Margolin, Carey Bell, John Primer, Louisiana Red, and Duke Robillard.

Robillard was so impressed by the band’s mastery of American blues, soul, and R&B, as well as their own convincing compositions in the same styles, that he produced the band’s debut studio release, Unreal (Blue Skunk Music). If you like traditional blues, then this disc is right up your alley, with 14 tracks, ten originals and four cover tunes.

What’s best about this band is their versatility and that they’re not afraid to mix things up a little bit. Check out the first tune, Willie Dixon’s “Evil.” It is transformed from the downhome blues mode associated with Howlin’ Wolf into a slick soul number out of ’60s era Memphis, with an impressive vocal from guitarist Bukovskis. The New Orleans R&B number, “Baby Let Me Hold Your Hand,” features some slick dobro work mixed in with the funky rhythm.

The band’s originals are also very good and mesh well with the standards. They include “Confused,” “Feel Like Cryin’,” “Unreal,” “Let The Door Hit You,” “Lost,” and “5 Minutes Too Late.” Bukovskis shows tremendous potential as a singer and guitarist and the band’s support is stellar. On selected tracks, they are accompanied by a four-piece horn section, and Robillard plays guitar on a couple of tracks. Robillard’s production work is first-rate and definitely helps the band capture that traditional blues sound.

There’s a lot of overseas talent helping to keep the blues alive and the Latvian Blues Band is one of the best examples. Fans of traditional blues from the ’50s and ’60s will find a lot to like with this set.

--- Graham Clarke


[Pick Hit][What's New][Surprise][Flashback][Feedback][Back Issues][Home Page]


The Blues Bytes URL... 
Revised: December 15, 2010 - Version 1.00
All contents Copyright © 2010, Blue Night Productions. All rights reserved.