”Blue River Rising” – Michael van Merwyk
By Johnny Petersen
Blue River Rising is the upcoming album from German lap steel great Michael van Merwyk. All the songs are self-penned and brings the impression of how easy songs must be flowing out of his heart. There is a light, joyful feeling to must of the songs and makes one plan to bring this music on the holiday. Perfect for lying in a sun-chair and dream away. It’s quite hard to categorize this album and as van Merwyk explain himself, “In the music industry, people like to put you in a clearly defined pigeonhole so that you can use a suitable marketing strategy to sell the product. On the one hand I understand that, but it’s just so much more fun to play what you feel like playing – regardless of genre boundaries. So for me, music and creativity is clearly the first priority, and marketing only second.”
There are some songs that sticks out and are worth a special mention. The album opens up with the strong bluesy title track, followed by the equal strong and bluesy “Won’t Get Any Better” where van Merwyk is accompanied by the excellent harp player Gerd Gorke which he does on a couple of more songs. The groove of this song brings back the old “On The Road Again” by The Memphis Jug Band. “Circumstances” is clearly inspired by Muddy Waters “I’m A Man” and got an old fashion wibe of the sixties.
van Merwyk shows that Germany got a strong independent blues scene that is somewhat overlooked by the majority of blues fans. It’s time for the world to open up for European blues! This album will be available in August 2021. Get it!