The South African singer-songwriter and guitarist DAN PATLANSKY released his new studio album entitled Introvertigo in May.
His headlining show at the excellent JAZZ CAFE in LONDON this week provided Dan with the opportunity to properly “launch” the album immediately after a run of dates with KING KING.
We have already described Introvertigo as “vigorously animated and very effective …”
Dan is considered one of the best blues guitarists of the modern period, and the excitement and magic was immediately produced on “Drone” the launch-pad for the show.
“Sonnava Faith” came swiftly on its heels. This song had oxidized riffs and felt fragile, tense and anxious. Dan’s voice was a mixture of bourbon ‘n’ moonlight — tasty and intoxicating.
“Stop the Messin” rang out, clattering, like an out-of-control wagon full of interburden and minerals. This song had a real classy feel to it. With stunning free-form jazzy guitar-work and funkytronic rhythms that jaunted enough to keep the movers and groovers happy.
We were waiting for the heavier, masculine pieces. You know, those tarnished blues numbers that seem covered in bruises and bitemarks. In other words, big songs like “Bring The World To Its Knees.”
We weren’t disappointed. Dan unleashed a whole slew of wha, dumbfounding string technique and fleshy vibrato. He also purred like a black bear spirit suffering from a broken heart.
But it soon became clear that the slower numbers, such as “Loosen up the Grip” produced the most drama and tension. During the pin drop moments we could hear gasps from the London audience. This was a gently prospering and a fluidly poignant creation.
Afterwards we enjoyed “Bet on Me” that sounded like “Little Wing” to us, but with that crusted kiln-brickly voice we came to expect from Dan.
And the Howlin’ Wolf sounding “Heartbeat” — this had more promise and razzle than a team of enthusiastic cheerleaders about to take on some extra-curricular tasks.
Patlansky is not yet the boss. Some of his songs felt a little untenanted around the middle. Others were overlong, maybe lacking focus.
And most of the muttering introductions could not be heard or understood.
But for guitar wizardry and sensitivity (dare-we-even-say, compassion) we would be pleased to say that this was the most hypnotic red-notch blues rock we have heard in a long time.
“The next Stevie Ray Vaughan?” An audience member turned to ask us, as Dan earned a thunderous applause. Yup! Very likely!