Charlie Sayles started performing in 1973 and has since played his harmonica on every major street corner of the United States. His impeccable technique has landed him gigs in blues clubs from London to Shanghai and even at Carnegie Hall where his wide repertoire of self-penned material was given a standing ovation.
Sayles’ unique style, gleaned from his journeys to New York, St. Louis, and Atlanta, has been documented by the Smithsonian in an effort to capture the last soundbites from authentic blues journeymen. In Charlie Sayles and the Blues Disciples, he brings together his thoughts about the world, our place in it, and our collective future, with the use of a very familiar formula one just doesn’t grow tired of hearing.
All the songs on this album can be described as groovy and just plain cool. They are all built similarly as well: sparsely layered with unembellished drums driving the whole thing, an electric guitar plucking out a supporting melody, and Sayles’ smooth, husky vocals or dynamic harmonica playing solo after solo. This makes these songs perfect to lay back and enjoy while tapping a foot (and maybe even a hand). And yet each cut still has different characteristics, from the almost rock-like sensibilities of the bluesy “Everybody’s Got Something to Say” to the funk-inspired “Green Peace”.
“I Don’t Want to Die”, “New Day Coming”, and “Vietnam” are pure blues numbers, while “Arella”, “Jesus Christ”, and “These Chains” have jazzy moments. Interestingly enough, “Laughin’ and Grinnin’” and “Those Things of Old” both have an almost country-like flavour to their blues.
The topics are as raw and honest as the overall sound of the record. “Green Peace” takes a look at the environmental situation in our world with a look at resolution, while “These Chains” refers to the shackles of addiction, and you can guess which war “Vietnam” refers to.
Going back to the roots of blues music, Charlie Sayles and the Blues Disciples has a rich sound that fans will dig over and over again. It is available now for streaming on SoundCloud, and more information on Sayles can be found on his Facebook page.
Pictures provided by Working Brilliantly.
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