Tag Archives: heavy blues

paralyzed

Paralyzed

Know how you’ll be in the queue at the supermarket when it dawns, though you have no idea who they are, the person stood behind you is a sportsman / sportswoman of some fame? Or you’re at a gig and as they take to the stage, before even striking a note, you know the unknown support band are going to be great? Or you hear a band, previously unknown to you, in Bandcamp and realize within seconds they are class; top quality and playing just the sounds you like to hear?

What connects the three examples above, is they have ‘presence.’ There is an aura surrounding these people that sets them distinct to others in their field.

Such is the case with Paralyzed. a hard rock band from Bamberg, Germany.

Paralyzed

You only have to look as far as the MUSIC PAST page on this very blog to see what kind of music excites me – and more to the point, excites me sufficiently to make more people aware… and write about it.

And all that helps explain what attracted me to this band the moment I clicked on their new album, ‘Heavy Road.’

I have to concede knowing very little about Paralyzed other that they formed in 2019, and have just released their second album, a follow-up to January 2021’s eponymous debut LP.

There was also an excellent value, seven track, thirty-four minutes long, EP release ‘Hidden Sun‘ back in the year of their formation, and a seven minute long digital single release, ‘This Woman’ in 2020. (Tracks fromHeavy Road,’ ‘Paralyzed’ and Hidden Sun form the ‘live’ set that features at the end of this piece.)

‘Heavy Road’ album artwork

‘Heavy Road’ comprises eight tracks over around forty minutes duration. It is pretty much rooted in a ’70s Rock feel, and thus, just my bag!

Album opener is ‘Devil’s Bride.’ From the opening vocal, there’s a very distinctive sense of Jim Morrison / Doors, which hooked me right away. It ‘modern’ terms, you’d say the riff, for the first three minutes of the seven and a half, is quite doom laden. The song then erupts in intensity and pace. Vocalist Michael Binder seems to morph into a Ian Astbury (The Cult) while executing a couple of searing guitar solos. A terrific start.

‘Orange Carpet,‘ has a real chugging riff. No nonsense hard rock, pure and simple. ‘Mayday’ is more of a mid-tempo, smokey, bluesy number, again with head-nod inducing riff. ‘Black Trees Pt 1‘ opens in dark mood; heavy blues at its finest – slightly rasping vocals over the top of moody, wah wah type guitar solos and deep, resounding bass lines.

Paralyzed.

‘Pilgrim Boots,‘ is the second track, after the opener, to breach the seven minute mark. Again, there is an undeniable Doors comparison to be made, but hey – that’s all pretty cool by me! Caterina Bohner’s organ work is more noticable on this one, and overall, the track has a vibrant, boogie feel to it.

Black Trees Pt 2‘ chugs away for three and a half minutes – all upbeat and again with a couple neat guitar solos thrown in. ‘Coal Mine’ is another slow burner. Building as it progresses, the bass line adopts a doom style feel, threatening; menacing. Michael’s vocal seem to become angrier and his guitar raging.

And then we’re at the album closer, ‘White Jar.‘ Straight off we’re into a short guitar solo, with the organ dancing in the background. More ‘wah wah’ guitar blends in mid-track alongside an almost funky bass line this time. A strong fnish!

I’ve made reference to Paralyzed being very ’70s rock inspired. And they are – or at least they sound that way. Yet – there is more to them than a band living in the past. They have incorporated modern elements into their music, but without going overboard in trying to be ‘different.’

Hard, driving rock will never die. And certainly not when the band producing it has such ‘presence.

One thing you sure won’t be on buying and listening to this album, is Paralyzed.

PARALYZED

Michael Binder – Vocals / Lead Guitar
Caterina Bohner – Organ / Rhythm Guitar
Philipp Engelbrecht – Bass
Florian Thiele – Drums

Paralyzed

gerry jablonski & the electric band

(Header photo by Star Shots Photography.)

(Latest single – September 2021)

Classic Rock magazine couldn’t have put it any better when they wrote about Gerry Jablonski & The Electric Band, ‘…. the best band you never heard of.’

It was towards the back end of 2008 when session drummer of some reknown, Dave Innes, approached established bluesman, Gerry Jablonski with a view to forming a band. The latter, though he’d fronted several bands in the past, had spent several immediate years prior performing solo acoustic blues sets, and took some persuading.

Some months later, now in 2009, the insistent Dave had put together the line-up he’d been pursuing, and with himself on drums, Gerry on guitar, Grigor Leslie on bass and Pete Narojczyk on harmonica, they played at an open mic night in their home city of Aberdeen.

Taking heart from the positive reaction and feedback, the four started writing their own songs and three months later they played their first ‘proper’ gig. A month after that, and the debut album had been recorded!

Released in 2009 through local label, Fat Hippy Records, the eponymous debut opens with ‘Breaking the Stones,’ a swamp blues stomper which I think also echoes early Free. It sets the precedent for what follows – an album of blues maturity and variation. Mainly upbeat and bouncy blues rock, Pete’s harmonica playing trades space with Gerry’s guitar, typified on ‘Blues Power‘ when you could just so easily be listening to Mark Feltham (Nine Below Zero / Rory Gallagher) and Roy Buchanan.

It would be two years before the follow up came along, ‘Life At Captain Tom’s’ which references the rehearsal and recording studio in Aberdeen. (I mentioned above how I could hear a Free influence poking through various tracks – on this album there is a song called ‘Koss,’ a tribute to the original Free guitarist, and weaving several of the band’s song titles into the lyrics.)

Another two year gap, and album number three was released, ‘Twist of Fate.’ Again, a clean sounding rocking blues album of ten tracks. The opening and closing tracks especially (‘Slave to the Rhythm‘ and ‘Suzi Sunshine’) are more palatable, I’d think, to commercial daytime radio than would be a more traditional blues song. ‘Dave Says,’ a jazz infused blues instrumental is my favourite, though. Just sayin’.

Fate however dealt the band a tragic hand the following year, with the passing of founder member / drummer, Dave Innes, following a long battle with stomach cancer.

He had acknowledged his destiny however, and was insistent that the band should continue with a replacement. And so with the comfort of his blessing, and Dave’s own recommendation, Lewis Fraser was invited to join.

And so has it been since. 2015 saw the release of studio album number four, ‘Trouble With The Blues‘ and the ensuing years have seen two ‘Live’ album releases. Their heavy blues sound is enhanced, I feel, on these ‘live’ recordings,

Goddamn,’ is the first recording since 2018’s ‘Live at The Blue Note,‘ album.

The video for this, shown at the opening of the post, has an interesting twist: Crystal Head Vodka, the brand set up by actor / comedian Dan Akroyd in 2008 decided they’d like to co-produce the video, and use it to feature their product in a forthcoming promotional campaign!
(Happy to oblige with with a wee additional plug!)

Now the UK music scene is slowly awakening from its enforced torpor, Gerry Jablonski & The Electric Band are back out and about, looking to pick up in recent months where they left off, selling out shows in mainland Europe as well as at home.

They’ve certainly been welcomed back enthusiastically, recently selling out their headline show at the Rory Gallagher Festival in Ballyshannon. As a diehard Gallagher fan myself, I know just how discerning Rory fans can be, so this is high accolade indeed!

They’ll be on my gig list for next year, that’s for sure.

Remaining gigs for the current year can be found on the Gerry Jablonski Band website.

(Photo: MB Photos Scotland ) – 2018

GERRY JABLONSKI & THE ELECTRIC BAND
Gerry Jablonski – Guitar / Vocals
Peter Narojczyk – Harmonica 
Lewis Fraser – Drums / Backing Vocals
Grigor Leslie – Bass / Backing Vocals

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David Innes – Drums / Backing Vocals ( 2009 – 2014)

TITLEFORMATYEARLABELNOTES
Breaking The Stones ‎CD Album2009Fat Hippy RecordsThis is the self-titled debut album, but listed as ‘Breaking The Stones’ on Discogs
Life At Captain Tom’s CD Album2011Fat Hippy Records

Twist Of Fate
CD Album2013Fat Hippy Records
Trouble with The BluesCD Album2015Unknown
LIVE TroubleCD Album2016Unknown
Heavy Water Double-A-sided single2017Unknown
Live at The Blue NoteCD Album2018Unknown
 Goddamn7″ single / CD2021Unknown