Thorbjørn Risager & The Black Tornado photo credit Christoffer Askman


Denmark’s premier roots-rockers THORBJØRN RISAGER & THE BLACK TORNADO will release their eighth studio album, titled Navigation Blues on 30th September 2022.

The septet, who have blazed a trail across Scandinavia, Europe, Canada, the US and Asia for the past twenty year have  been captivating crowds with their dynamic stage presence and an authentic  sound that fuses soul, Chicago blues, boogie and rock ‘n’ roll. If you adore Ray Charles, Van Morrison and Billy Gibbons (all in one package) you’ll love the Risager show!

Having formed in Copenhagen, they are real road warriors, spending 9-10 months a year touring clubs and bars (hence Navigation Blues)  but it’s something that they’ve never taken for granted: “Every concert is a unique experience. You just look at the audience’s smiles and reactions, and you know that what you’re doing makes sense.”

Their prolific travels around the globe have swept-up fans across every corner, including non-other than Elwood Blues himself, Dan Aykroyd! Who hailed their “Hot rhythm and blues“, and said that Risager has “got a great voice, great delivery and feels the blues. The songs are original, but sound like they come from a Stax recording session circa 1965.”

The bass notes are shiny shellacked black & the voice is whipped engine-oil and freshly rubberized cinnamon bark…

Raw Ramp Music Magazine

The title song ‘Navigation Blues’ feels more authentic than discovering Robert Petway playing for a meal of brown beans & mess in the backroom of some dodgy roadhouse in a grubby Yazoo outport. Like all the best blues, it’s a mix of anguish, sufferance, and endurance. Incredibly rich in flavour, this song is darkly absorbing.

Fire Inside’ is a little jollier, with a beat-style rhythm that seems to hark back to the Spencer Davis Group (maybe even the Dave Clark Five) in terms of honest rock ‘n’ roll shuffle, so you’ll notice jangled wha-wha shapes and bubbling squelches here-and-there. But don’t expect power-pop harmonies (!) because this is more like the ooze that runs from a sludge-filled mississippi swamp than any cheerfully babbling Lancashire brook! So if you like the idea of bringing a neat Richards/Jagger style riff, with multipotent guitars, to a moody song that’s about following darkening-Delta holy spirits, this one is unquestionably for you. 

Thorbjørn Risager + The Black Tornado - Navigation Blues

An example of the fluency, potency, and amazingly crafted musicianship that is demonstrated on this terrifically organic album take a listen to the first single that’s been taken from it, titled “Watch The Sun Go Down (music video shared below). The song brings moments that possess all the electric adventure and groovy swing you might have found with Stevie Ray Vaughn, though adds the soulful smoothness of Robert Cray. So there’s a bunch of shuffle acoustic rhythms to begin, followed hotfoot by sliding twang (George Harrisonesque?) The bass notes are shiny shellacked black, and the voice is whipped engine-oil and freshly rubberized cinnamon bark. The result is a swaying, yawning, victory song about getting by with little more than hope, sentiment, and a bunch of songs that tingle the strings of your heart! 

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Words: @neilmach 2022 ©
Main Photo credit Christoffer Askman ©
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