In 2011 Michael van Merwyk made his debut with his top-class band Bluesoul, around two and a half years ago. You should keep that in the back of your mind and, if necessary, read aloud every now and then if you feel disbelief at how Bluesoul spent these two years. The quartet played its way into an international league from scratch, with this formation alone van Merwyk is now releasing the third record. In 2013 there was a sensation that cannot or should not be downplayed at all. At the 29th International Blues Challenge in Memphis / Tennessee, the world's largest musicians' competition, Bluesoul was the first European band in the 29-year history of the competition to reach the finals. Your "American Blues - Eurostyle" struck a nerve with the decorated jurors in the motherland, with Bluesoul everything simply and simply fits together too well.
The audience-oriented performance was praised by some, others emphasized the outstanding skills of the musicians involved, and everyone was able to agree on the independent band sound and the high-quality songwriting. It starts with the extremely accomplished and eclectic game of Merwyks. Whether Diddley Bow, Squareneck, Roundneck, Lapsteel, or electric, Michael van Merwyk knows his instrument inside and out and has made it an essential part of his artistic voice. His immense repertoire and deep knowledge of the music he has dedicated himself to, he apparently effortlessly processes into his own songs, the origin of which can always be identified as blues. But the quartet's sound has long since outgrown the tight corset of “blues” and has never seen itself as a revival band. Rather, the four musicians draw without blinkers and a keen eye for the present from the rich fund of many styles that can be found in the basin of american roots music. Bluesoul manages the apparently paradox of modern and tradition-conscious guitar music without ever drifting into solo complacency - there is no need for name dropping with references or influences, Merwyk is without a doubt a songwriter with his own identity.
Na gut, eins: „Your songwriting and your playing is really something special. The world needs more bluesmen like you“, konstatiert Louisiana-native Larry Garner.
The much acclaimed debut “New Road” was followed in 2014 by the acoustic EP “Ease My Pain”, recorded in record time, on which the band sound is enriched with mandolin and banjo. Drummer Bernhard Weichinger sees the cajon, snare and cymbal as a reduced, effective backdrop Jochen Bens' and Merwyk's eloquently interlocked guitars, while, not least, Olli Gee's masterful bass playing, thankfully, everything sounds so wonderfully easy. And every child knows that make it look easy is incomparably easy. So now follows on February 27th, 2015 with “New Shoes” on GrooveStew Records, the third outing of the busy band. There's a reunion with the EP's “Happy Man” and the electric garb looks great on him.
In terms of sound and play, Bluesoul deliver their very own "American Blues - Eurostyle" in 2015. The heavyweight title track comes towards you as a Catfish Blues Jam, the giant from Rheda intones threateningly and threatened, "Heal My Wounds" underlines that you are dealing with a sensitive singer and lyricist who is generous enough to let us - the listeners - in . His powerful voice covers a spectrum from ballad-like, clear singing to Waitsesquem rumble. The depth of his songs and lyrics is conclusively staged with adequate vocal finesse. If there was ever any doubt about that "New Road" that Michael van Merwyk & Bluesoul hit not so long ago, you can calm down. You are doing everything right. And at the speed that you lie down on your journey, your footwear suffers first. With “New Shoes” this problem should also be eliminated.
01 Won't Get Any Better
03 Happy Man
05 New Shoes
06 At Least Some Day
08 Lonely Days
09 Heal My Wounds
10 Ain't No Use