Let The Music Rise


Nick's Picks: 01 Going To Brownsville; 02 The Great Escape; 07 It's Getting Late; 09 When Daylight Comes

Review by Steven "Nick" Nickelson of Vokel Strifler Let The Music Rise :

Although this is the third cd release by German-born Vokel Strifler, he and his band have been playing blues, jazz, fusion, rock & roll for many years. The first cut ("Going To Brownsville" - originally written by Sleepy John Estes) is arranged in a Memphis style by Vokel. I have read that he is a producer/arranger extraordinaire, and I cannot quibble with the experts - at least according the this cut. And herein, the horns in the arrangement make all the difference, as well as Vokel's hollow-body riffs. The next cut ("The Great Escape") really brings back some deeply buried memories. Some people compare Vokel Strifler to Duane Allman; however, this cut here clearly is more evocative of Duane Eddy. The same comparison holds for track ten ("Hoogie Boogie") - this guy can really make an arpeggio riff sound as if it is taking flight!! I just cannot mention enough the sheer brilliance of the songwriter and arranger. This guy (Volker Strifler) is a musical genius! The third cut ("Redemption") takes a little side trip from Memphis to New Orleans for this and the next little Blues ditty ("Jigsaw Puzzle Blues"). Speaking of Blues - the next cut ("Wait A Minute") is a virtual trip down South jukin', as is the title cut ("Let The Music Rise"). Keepin' it real in the ole South, the band takes us on a trip to Beale Street ("It's Getting Late"). The only description I can come up with for this next cut is velvet hammer ("Last Night I Had A Dream"), for the smooth and easy segue from the hammerin' intro, as well as the velvet smooth playing of the whole band. The penultimate cut starts off with a hauntingly finger-picked solo, and leads to a full-blown rock & roll cut. Although this cd needs a few listens to stick, I have no hesitation in giving this the Nick's Picks seal of approval. And that's my two nickels' worth........................Nick

Volker Strifler, a long time member of the Ford Blues Band, is achieving recognition as a musician, singer, songwriter, band leader, and record producer. His solo CD, The Volker Strifler Band, released in 2002, and The Dance Goes On, released in 2006, received critical acclaim from the blues press, musical peers, and fans around the world. Today it's clear that Volker Strifler is a unique musician in his own right. He has synthesized many years of American music study and the lessons learned as a longtime sideman to Robben, Patrick, and Mark Ford, Lowell Fulson, Chris Cain and others into his own unique musical style and sound. Volker Strifler was born in Heidelberg, Germany and started playing guitar when he was a teenager. Like most young German musicians at the time, Volker played in local bands at US Army and Air Force clubs as well as local German venues. About this time, Volker had an opportunity to meet the American blues singer, Lee Reed. The meeting was life-changing, for it was Lee Reed who introduced Volker to the blues. After meeting Lee, Volker dove into local record stores and began voraciously listening to everything he could from Howling Wolf and T-Bone Walker to B.B. King, Eric Clapton, and Peter Green. In 1986, Volker moved to the US with his wife where he had the opportunity to intimately learn about the music he loved. His musical exploration included both jazz players and blues artists. Both styles greatly influenced Volker's playing. Over the next years, he developed a unique style that blended his musical experiences into the consummate guitar player he is today.

The Musicians:

Volker Strifler: Guitar and Vocals

Gary Silva: Drums

Don Bassey: Bass

David Schrader: Saxophones

Carl Bowers: Trombone

(Chip) Roland Condon: Organ and Piano

The Songs:

1. Going To Brownsville

2. The Great Escape

3. Redemption

4. Jigsaw Puzzle Blues

5. Wait A Minute

6. Let The Music Rise

7. It's Getting Late

8. Last Night I Had A Dream

9. When Daylight Comes

10. Hoogie Boogie

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

The opinions expressed in these reviews are those of the individual volunteers that submitted the article and do not necessarily reflect the views of WYCE or GRCMC; nor its staff, donors, or affiliates.