With “Tryin’ To Get By”, Sir Oliver Mally presents his latest album. Here is an assessment by Peter Schneider, guitarist and label boss of United Sounds Records, who is also Sir Oliver Mally’s duo partner and therefore very familiar with what drives the Styrian.
When Oliver Mally and I were on the road together for concerts in autumn 2020, I had the pleasure of listening to his new album in advance.
He was listening to the rough mix of a song from the new album “Tryin’ To Get By” in his room. I just walked past his door and said “Wow! Play me more!”. These songs with their different facets (acoustic country blues, electric Chicago sound of the 50s and soulful Texas blues) were so exciting that I had to finish listening to the whole album before we could leave for the next gig. A really good blues album!
But what is a good blues album in 2021? Of course, all blues fans love the classic recordings of the 50s by people like Little Walter, Muddy Waters, the three Kings and so on. Unfortunately, many current blues musicians limit themselves to trying to reproduce this feeling. Not so Mally, he produces his own feel, writes his own stories and uses his extensive and in-depth knowledge of the blues as a vehicle for his own tripping.
Here are a few examples: The title track “Tryin’ To Get By” describes the days of a temporarily unemployed musician on lockdown in the Corona Crisis. “Vinyl fever keeps me up all night, I wake up on the sofa in broad daylight, can’t say what month it is… just trying to get by”. The whole thing played with a fantastically picked, cleverly played acoustic guitar and super lazy accompaniment on double bass and broom drums. You can’t do better than that!
“What’s the best thing to do in the middle of a pandemic crisis? Yes, write again and record stuff!”Sir Oliver Mally
The slow blues “Downfall” is also a blast, with Mally sharing the acoustic guitar work and vocals with Ian Siegal, who evokes Muddy’s spirit with his great slide playing. And what a story Mr. Mally!
“I Wanna Ride With You” shows the rhythm section Alex Meik on double bass and Peter Lenz on drums in grooving top form. Incredibly good harp solo by Hubert Hofherr, excellent organ solo by Hamond grandmaster Raphael Wresssnig, who co-wrote the number. And Mally shows that he hasn’t forgotten the electric guitar and essential blues solos a bit either. This ride sounds like one of the great moments of the Chess label and if that’s the case, Mr. Players, then we listeners all want to go along for the ride!
But enough with descriptions of this great album. You’ll have to discover the rest for yourself, because there are still some great gems on “Tryin’ To Get By” by the Oliver Mally Group released on Blind Rope Records 2021.
|Album||Tryin´To Get By|
|Artist:||Sir Oliver Mally|
|Composer:||Sir Oliver Mally, Raphael Wressnig, Various|
|Label:||Blind Rope Records|
|Format:||Audio CD, Vinyl|