by Mark E. Gallo
Review date: July 2002
"Keeping the Blues Alive Award"|
Achievement for Blues on the Internet
Presented by The Blues Foundation
Denmark's Long Dog is dark and Doors-ish in sections. Lead vocalist Lenhart Larsen has a proneness, much like Jim Morrison did, to dive full body into a lyric or a phrase. He wraps himself around the words like a poet. It isn't a matter of polish. This is about heart. Velvet Underground and Marianne Faithful stumbling in a stark, rain and heroin-drenched alley. Dark and heavy. Bells and other unusual sound effects permeate. Accordion (or is it an ocarina) shares space with harmonica. Wild percussion and percussive (banging) piano and organ. Hound Dog Taylor meets Dylan ("Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat"). Strange as that may sound, it doesn't come lose to capturing this superb 1998 recording. From the opening "I'm a King Bee," it's obvious that Long Dog doesn't cover a tune so much as they bend it and shape it into their own a taffy-pull of unique sounds. The best songs here are the covers of "Why Am I Treated So Bad," "I Love the Life I Live," and "Tore Down," but no one is likely to come away thinking they've just heard the same old crap. That's not to say it all works. Their version of "Cakewalk Into Town," a song done as perfect as a song can be done by Taj Mahal, should have been left on the cutting-room floor. The Velvet-y original "She Could Be Famous" makes up for it. Lars Bo Jensen's and Anders Poulsen's keyboards, guitar, bass, percussion and programming complement Larsen's elastic vocals and harp. This is definitely not your father's blues disc. Call it what you will (a difficult task), this wholly unique effort is superb. You can track one down via Blue Planet Productions, Kildehusvej 11, Roskilde, Denmark.
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