Another brand new CD for all guitarists comes from Carl Verheyen. It’s called “Essential Blues” and is obviously a Blues album.
Blues is especially for us guitar players a genre which we like to listen to and also include in our playing. I think the guitar is the blues instrument par excellence.
Carl Verheyen plays what I would call intelligent blues, like Robben Ford or Eric Clapton do. Carl is one of the big names in the LA studio scene, he is member of the rock group “Supertramp” since 1985 and he has basically played everything possible (TV shows, movies, recording and performing with rock and pop superstars in the last 30 years).
But he has this love with the blues and this album is like a kaleidoscope of contemporary blues. We find songs from Peter Green, Alvin Lee, Ray Charles, Willie Cobbs and also originals from Carl Verheyen plus one traditional, all arranged differently in style and sound.
There are songs very straight played like “I Take What I Want” or “Stealing Gasoline”, some blues-rock in “Oh Well” or slow blues tunes like “Someday After A While”.
“Dodging The Blues” is a slow moll instrumental blues composed by Carl with an amazing guitar sound (reminds me a little bit of Pink Floyd).
My favorite song of the album is the Alvin Lee tune “I May Be Wrong” played with very jazzy intro.
The album closes with the Ray Charles song “Hard Times” with just guitar, bass, tambourine and vocals, also very beautiful.
The album was recorded live in three days in February 2017 and according to Carl, the “self inflicted parameters were: I would play just 2 guitars, 2 amps, do no overdubs and everything must be played and sung live in the room with bass, drums and keyboards. “. The result of these three days is a great spontaneous album, very compact but also very precise. A perfect example that it is all about the music itself, or as Carl said: I abandoned all the self doubt and just “went for it.”
Carl plays typically a Fender Stratocaster (this guitar is also the star on the CD cover) which has this sometimes a little bit thin but very distinctive sound.
As said, this is blues guitar album, it shows the different styles of blues that exist today all played in perfection. Obviously Carl Verheyen gets a chance to play great guitar solos but also Jim Cox on keyboards (piano and organ) shines as a soloist. This album gets a clear recommendation from me.
The other good news is that he will be in Europe in October and November this year, he visits Poland, Germany and the Netherlands. Details can be found on Carl’s website:
Carl also produced a nice video during the recording of the album: