By Chris Patmore, Rock At Night London Correspondent
VENUE: The Jazz Cafe, London – Dan Patlansky shows the blues are fresh and alive.
On the classic 1969 album The Live Adventures of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper (essential listening for anyone interested in blues guitar), Bloomfield introduces the Albert King song Don’t Throw Your Love on Me so Strong with the words “Hope y’all dig some blues, cos here’s some blues”. Almost five decades later, that sentiment was repeated, if not actually voiced, when Dan Patlansky hit the recently refurbished Jazz Cafe stage in Camden on 9 June 2016.
What’s interesting to note is that at a time when musicians (or their managers or lawyers) are suing each for “stealing” their song “ideas”, bluesmen (and jazzers) are happily playing variations of the same themes that have been around since the beginnings of recorded music. And that’s why fans of the genre love it so much. It’s about feeling, interpretation and execution – with finely honed skills that mark it as your own. Let’s face it, the world’s best electric guitarists come from a blues background, and Dan Patlansky is definitely one of the best, even if he is not yet a household name, depending on the household, of course.
What is impressive about Patlansky’s live performance is there is very little posturing or theatrics: your basic showing off, on the fretboard as well as the stage, that a lot of rock and metal lead guitarists put on. With enough effects pedals, even the most basic playing can be made to soon more complex than it really is. The thing with the blues (and its rockier fusions) is its simplicity that relies on the guitarist’s skills to give it soul, which Dan demonstrated continuously through his 90-minute set to promote his latest album Introvertigo.
Now is a great time to see a Patlansky gig. He’s not hit the stadium-filling status yet, so his shows are quite intimate, which is the best way to experience live music, when you can actually see the fingers working the fret board, up close and personal, rather than on a giant screen.
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