Review: Kai Strauss – Night Shift


Kai Strauss - Night Shift

Kai Strauss – Night Shift
Format: CD – Digital / Label: Continental Record Services
Release: 2022

Tekst: Bert van Kessel

For nearly three decades now Kai Strauss has been putting his mark on the international blues scene, starting off as lead guitarist with with Memo Gonzalez’ Bluescasters and with 7 highly successful albums under his belt under his own name; By many he is considered one of the best European bluesmen; in my humble opinion he is the very best. If  Alligator Records’ boss Bruce Iglauer says so, it must be true.

Next to a profound understanding of what Chicago Blues is all about, his strength is his unique combination of technique, emotion and power; he likes to come to the point, he does not shower the listener with excessive notes; No frills for Kai Strauss.

Next to that  he’s an excellent vocalist. Also, he has assembled an exquisite group of outstanding musicians to support him: it is a continuous pleasure to be listening to the wonderful contributions of bass virtuoso Kevin DuVernay. Paul Jobson adds delicately ingenious fills with his keyboards and the horns, supervised by Sax Gordon, sound fresh and enthusiastic throughout. There are two guest appearances on guitar and vocals by one of Chicago’s greatest talents, Toronzo Cannon.

The general feel of this album is light-hearted and positive. But there are also some truly emotional slow blues numbers like the gripping closing track Night Shift Blues,  with Paul Jobson on the piano and organ helping out the excelling guitarist to create a lush nightclub atmosphere

This great record is the number one contender for blues album of the year.

01. Stand Strong Together
02. The Future And The Past
03. I Done Got Over You
04. Bottom Of The Barrel
05. Storming In Chicago
06. Bad Loser
07. Ride With Me
08. Icebound
09. You Sure Drive A Hard Bargain
10. It Ain’t Where You Been
11. Night Shift