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HANS THEESSINK Jedermann Remixed

HANS THEESSINK Jedermann Remixed
Blue Groove BG1920

This is a soundtrack for an Austrian film bringing together various adaptations of Jedermann, in turn based on the English Everyman play. The fact that this could easily stand as a perfect introduction to Hans and his unique continental blues style is a bonus. For those of us who have known his work for some time, it is nice to hear that he is still in good voice and playing exquisitely. On this occasion, six of the tracks feature Hans alone on guitar and vocals, reproducing the intimacy of his Folk Club gigs and other more intimate settings. Of the other 11 tracks, most have just a guest backing vocalist or occasional drums or double bass added. For the uninitiated, Hans is a bluesman of Dutch origin, based in Vienna for as long as I’ve known him (20 years plus), with a delicate guitar style in the Broonzy mould, and a voice suggesting that his vocal cords are comprised of sandpaper marinated with chillies and honey.

Four tracks are self-penned, the cream of the crop being his Call Me, a popular live song. Two are self-arranged and the remaining twelve range from two Rolling Stones numbers (an atmospheric No Expectations and a haunting Sympathy For The Devil) and a selection from as diverse sources as Curtis Mayfield, Tom Waits and Ray Charles. This is as good a composite of HT’s talent as any, and should cement his reputation as the discerning man’s Seasick Steve. Sadly not scheduled to tour the UK until the autumn, but on this showing he’s definitely worth waiting for.

Grem Devlin

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This album was reviewed in Issue 91 of The Living Tradition magazine.