There is a sweet spot right in between blues and rock that is a wonderful place to be musically, although many of the bands that try to reside there fail to achieve a balance that truly serves both sides of the musical relationship.
Bluessmyth, a trio out of Calgary is a band which has staked out the territory between the two genres well. These guys know how to play rock, even metal-influenced rock, yet still maintain a blue heart wrapped in the music enough that it should please listeners on both sides of the musical equation.
Bluessmyth has a strong foundation based in the deep bass laid down by Jason Yaholkoski, while Chris Yaholkoski adds strong guitar work. It's a strong combination, which of course is really a must when a band has only three members.
Celene Yohemas rounds out the trio on drums.
Chis Yaholkoski is the lead vocalist, and again he does a great job, with vocals that at times are a growl, but always remain clear as the music looks to tell a story.
This is Bluessmyth's second album, following their debut 30 Pieces of Silver, which is also a fine album, although this self-titled album does show some added maturity as a unit. On the band's myspace spot Chris summed up the new effort saying “this CD is heavier, and in some ways more thoughtful, than our first CD 30 Pieces Of Silver. In Bluessmyth the songs speak about permanent and universal things everyone goes through, like the choice between good and evil, the finding of your own place in this world, and of life and death. On this CD we wanted to tell stories."
The key story here is that of Emmett Till. Again the myspace page explains it best. “The Story of Emmett Till is a trilogy telling the true story of a fourteen year-old African American boy, who was brutally beaten, mutilated and then murdered in Mississippi in 1955, for whistling at a white woman. Two men were arrested and tried for the crime, but were found not guilty by an all-white jury, and set free. The murder of Emmett Till, among other incidents, is widely believed to be one of the many triggering factors of the American Civil Rights Movement.”
It is such stories that make this CD compelling, when you mix it with strong musicianship, you have a great album that really is a winner on multiple levels. Find this one.
Check them out at www.myspace.com/bluessmyth1
-- CALVIN DANIELS
-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Dec. 24, 2008 - Yorkton, SK. Canada