Kai Strauss – In My Prime
Continental Blue Heaven
11 songs time – 54:38
German singer-guitarist Kai Strauss’s music shows the extent of the reach of American blues music across the globe. He absorbs the influences of the blues greats while putting his personal stamp on everything he touches. He puts his assertive voice to good use on all songs, be they self written or co-written songs. The specter of B.B. King’s and Albert King’s guitar styles is evident much of the time. His backing musicians include the usual suspects-drums, bass, keyboards, guitar, harmonica and a horn section led by Sax Gordon that was recorded in the USA.
In the midst of mainly relationship oriented material is “World Crisis Blues”, a dissertation on our current Covid-19 world situation. Harmonica player Thomas Feldman makes his first of two effective appearances here as well. Kai’s strong vocals along with his ever present guitar goodness enliven every selection on this effort. On “Guest In The House Of The Blues” he rattles off a litany of his favorite blues icons.
On the slow “Keep Your Happy Home” he occasionally interjects a bit of jazzy guitar into his otherwise bluesy solos. “You’re Killing My Love” recalls the rhythm & blues accented styles of Bobby Blue Bland and B.B. King, a song bolstered by the horn section. He delivers a classic Otis Rush style “crying in my beer” blues on “Day Late And A Dollar Short”. His guitar supports the sentiment.
Harmonica returns on the closing tune “Wait A Minute Baby” along with organ, piano and Chicago style slide guitar. A fitting ending for this tribute to old school blues.
As long musicians of this quality keep fanning the blues flame, us blues lovers will be in great shape. Can’t wait for the next chapter from Kai and his companions. Stuff like this suits the Ol’ Bluesdog quite nicely!