The Blues Fools hail from Hungary, and are further proof of the universality of the language of the blues. Blues music was outlawed in Hungary up until 1989, since it was regarded as imperialist. Fortunately the Blues Fools are fast learners, however, and they have come a long way in such a relatively short time. All of the songs, bar one ("My Baby Caught The Train"), are originals, and they are all sung in near perfect English.
Right from the off ("Bad Weather Blues"), everything about the Blues Fools is tight and focused. It is evident that they understand the subtle nuances of the blues, and never waste a note, whether it be on harp (the highly talented Matyas Pribojszki) or guitar (Laszlo "Jack" Horvath). The sound of the band is ably anchored throughout by Mark Koles (drums) and Andras Gyebrovski (bass).
The band describe their style--fairly appropriately--as West Coast Jump Blues, although the influence of Chicago is evident too. You get examples of this side by side, with "Lookin' Through The Keyhole" being a laid back, almost jazzy West Coast tune, whilst the ensuing "Little Boy Rock" is pure Junior Wells meets the Butterfield Blues Band. The latter is followed by possibly the best track on the album, "Mattack!", an instrumental romp, where Pribojszki gets a chance to show why he rated so highly in the World Harmonica Festival in Germany. Like many of the tracks here, it is delivered in a lively vibrant manner, that will give you itchy feet.
Do not be misled by the name of the band; the Blues Fools mean serious business. They will appeal most to those who like their blues served up West Coast style (Rod Piazza, R.J. Mischo, and so on), which means it will also appeal to Chicago fans too. Anyone who buys "Fools In The Blues" will be pleasantly surprised: it is a very good album measured by any standard. On this showing the Blues Fools are an act that are well worth further investigation. The band are due to be touring the USA at some point in the near future: check them out!
Available via the Blues Fools web site: www.bluesfools.com
Samples available on-line at: www.mp3.com/bluesfools
This review is copyright © 2000 by Gordon Baxter , and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved.