Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Thorbjørn Risager and The Black Tornado: Too Many Roads

Too Many Roads
Thorbjørn Risager and The Black Tornado
The latest album on the Ruf Records label features one of Denmark's finest blues singers and his band. Too Many Roads is their eighth album - and the first they have produced themselves. ''We've always had producers on our earlier albums'', says Thorbjørn. ''This time we have taken the big leap of doing the producing ourselves. We've put together twelve very strong songs where blues, rock and soul melt together.''

Track List

If You Wanna Leave
Too Many Roads
China Gate
Backseat Driver
Through The Tears
High Rolling
Long Forgotten Track
Red Hot and Blue
Rich Man
Play On

Thorbjørn's deep, bluesy voice is very distinctive. He also plays guitars and Dobro. The other seven band members play a large variety of instruments, including numerous keyboards (even a Wurlitzer) and a very extensive horn section (nine instruments!). This guarantees a rich, full sound on all 12 tracks.

Rock, soul and - given the brass influence - jazz are all present and correct, but the blues is the dominant genre, whether it's the up-tempo variety (such as the storming opener If You Wanna Leave) or the slower numbers with the more traditional blues sound (including China Gate). Amid the guitar riffs  and horn tangents, it's Thorbjørn's powerful voice that anchors everything; never losing it strength, it keeps the listener's attention firmly in its grasp despite the numerous potential distractions.

The highlights for me are the faster numbers: If You Wanna Leave; High Rolling and, best of all, the rockabilly closer, Play On, complete with showcase Jerry Lee Lewis-style keyboard.

Despite being grounded in familiar genres, it's hard to think of anybody else who sounds quite like Thorbjørn Risager and The Black Tornado. It's the voice and the sheer range of instruments that lift the whole thing clear of anything even remotely similar.

Why not have a listen yourself, using this little video teaser?

For further details, head for the official website.

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