album review by Ioana Nica
Willie Dixon once said: “The Blues are the true facts of life expressed in song, inspiration, feeling and understanding.” Elements that shaped up a musical universe since the end of the 19th century. But no matter the styles or techniques, and maybe more than any other works, the blues will be always about authenticity. With their debut album – Troubles on my mind – PIERRE K Band put forward the beginning of a journey through some of these feelings and reveal their own genuineness.
The mood for blues demands its rights from the first glance taken on the album back cover: the evocative song titles grab and drag you instantly into their imaginary. Six original compositions narrating their structure using different styles and registers, from classic blues shuffles to blues-rock, and gracefully divided into two paces, either upbeated or in a slow mode.
Troubles on My Mind, Money Machine and Hard Living Woman bring on rhythmic drum shuffle grooves and walking bass line, while Star Life, My Lady and Island of Peace belong to a slower, sadder repertoire. As for the guitar, just one instrument does both the highly emotional solos as well as a more raucous sound which I particularly liked.
I guess the album doesn’t coincidentally end with a song where love and peace live a dream together. Island of Peace is a slow song that evokes overcome inner struggle and has strong idealistic believes. By extension, I take it as an invitation to live in a world guided by “When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.”
Obviously, Pierre Kasprzyk is an awesome guitar player and he masters very well his blues art, together with his band mates, Raphaël Pire on drums, Olivier Fanuel on bass and Maxime Cromps who is so beautifully responsible for bringing in the ‘70s keyboards sound. But besides that, a mark of his originality consists in the way he is using his voice. Although very powerful, strong and decisive, there is something there reminding me of Sixto Rodriguez: a bit of dark toned emotion, a bit of a strange foreign accent and a lot of self-control in the struggle with the emotional charge of the song. Very special and unique.
The shining diamond
My favorite tune is My Lady, a classical blues song inspired by Gary Moore and talking about love failure, but summoned with a similar simple guitar riff as another Lady was, one famous for buying stairways to heaven. A song that takes all the insecure feelings, the guilt and the sorrow after a lost relationship and puts them in a strong composition. You can feel that state of fragility, which we all have lived one way or another, in the voice and the guitar playing.
The easiness in approaching so many styles at once, as well as the confidence of playing them all on the same album, is remarkable. This EP – to be released on 2 October 2014 – is definitely just a teaser, a preview of what we can expect next and a very good promise of a prolific and creative career for this band.
More information: http://www.pierrekband.com/
You can also find them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pierrekband
Pierre was born in Liège (Belgium). He began to learn music at the age of 8 starting with classical piano, he then switched to guitar at the age of 14. His main influences were Bryan Adams, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix. Pierre also started to take a keen interest in vocals. He started composing his own music pretty early and played with several bands (Kascross Band, Keep it Deep and The Skydyers … just to name a few!). In the last few years, he played the blues all around Belgium with Pak Trio Blues Band.
Pierre thought it was about time to start his own band playing & writing the music he loves. He has spent the last year writing & arranging the music for his 1st album ‘Troubles On My Mind’ and found the right musicians who share the same passion for great music and a life on the road.
- Performed by:
Pierre Kasprzyk – guitar & vocals
Maxime Cromps – keyboards
Olivier Fanuel – bass
Raphaël Pire – drums
- Guest musicians:
Antoine Litt – tambourine & backing vocals
Julie Compagnon – backing vocals
- Artwork: Raphaël Pire