Michael van Merwyk - Songster (CD)
TZ1621Regular price $16.65
A Songster is something like a predecessor to the Bluesman, with one important difference: He doesn't just play the blues, but everything he wants - and that's exactly what Michael van Merwyk does on his new album “Songster”. The guitarist and singer has made 15 songs for which genre borders do not matter. David Bowie, Judas Priest, Depeche Mode, traditional folk songs from centuries past: Michael van Merwyk casually translates everything from the wrist into his own musical dialect.
He reduces the produced originals to gnarled acoustic versions: no sound too much or too little in the economical arrangements. Dr. John or Johnny Cash sing songs by Iron Maiden and The Clash, with John Lee Hooker or Blind Willie Johnson on guitar: that could sound like that - a little weird, but with fun. Michael van Merwyk developed his style where songsters are mostly: on the go. “My school was pubs, clubs and parties. I've been singing songs and telling stories for almost 35 years. I mostly play my own compositions, but also those of other musicians in their own versions. A good song is a good song. ”Recorded live at the Watt Matters studio in Bielefeld: no headphones, no tricks. This works and creates a feeling of closeness. With your eyes closed, you think you're sitting between the musicians. Michael van Merwyk gets everything out of the songs with a dark voice: He sings “Breaking The Law” octaves lower than Rob Halford from Judas Priest - but at least as expressively.
“Songster” begins, we hear Steve Baker's longing harp, the Dobro comes along, and we are right in the middle of Bowie's “Heroes” - an incredibly soulful version of the masterpiece. “Should I Stay or Should I Go” is more relaxed than with The Clash, but has the same drive thanks to the minimalist accompaniment of drummer Micha Maas and Klaas Wendling on the double bass. Michael van Merwyk also produces full energy solo: an experienced live performer plays here who knows how to get people off their chairs alone. Songsters like Mississippi John Hurt, Big Bill Broonzy or Lead Belly played for every audience and had the right sound for every location. Michael van Merwyk stands in her tradition: he plays in front of blues listeners, at singer / songwriter festivals and in pubs and varies his repertoire as he likes. Nothing is styled and optimized here. This is about the music - and about getting it to the people.
2. Breaking the Law
3. Bank robbers
4. Kisses Sweeter Than Wine
5. Get It On
6. Black Is The Color
7. Love Will Tears Us Apart
8. You’ve got another thing coming
9. Personnel Jesus