Release Date: Apr 22, 2008
Record label: Everloving
Genre(s): Rock, Alternative, Country, Blues
Don Cavalli's second album is a classic blend of moments of interest in a framework that just doesn't quite hold the interest. Within the framework of a fairly standard electric blues set, turns such as the repeated "how how how" on "Aggression" signal Cavalli's best gift, an ability to lock into a key moment and make it work in an almost obsessive fashion. But on the flip side, the fact that it is a standard electric blues performance means that there won't be much to captivate a listener who isn't already in love with that sound.
With his guttural voice, gasping harmonica and guitar that sounds like a squeezebox being run over by a freight train, Don Cavalli conjures up the spirit of the delta blues circa 1950 - quite an achievement considering the Frenchman recorded this in a Parisian flea market. It's unfortunate, then, that the veteran Seasick Steve is making bigger waves with a similar sound. Nevertheless, while Cavalli's thunder has been stolen, lightning remains in these woozy, boozy stompers that aren't unduly burdened by the familiarity of howling winds and the obligatory appearance by the Devil.
Being influenced by (or ripping-off, depending on how you want to look at it) the soulful, gritty work of American blues artists is a tradition as old as rock and roll itself. French artist Don Cavalli sounds, no doubt quite intentionally, like he showed up on the scene 45 years too late, wanting to pay tribute to his hard livin' heroes the same way that the Stones and the Yardbirds did when they started doing Muddy Waters impressions. Cryland is, for the most part, a collection of psyched-up blues riffs that underpin lyrics full of anachronistic clichés about old-time religion and various other tried-and-true topics about which people sing The Blues.