I have to admit I was rooting for Caelan Irrgang (guitar/bass/vocals/foot drums) and Michael Irrgang (guitar/bass/vocals) of Blue Rock before I heard them. I’m thinking the band is a father and son but I can’t confirm that. At any rate, the most impressive part is that the Caelan Irrgang plays drums with his feet while singing and playing guitar. Ok, I will admit I don’t understand why they don’t just search for a drummer but the feat is by all means impressive.
The album they released Rolling Backwards is really a straight rock album full of tons of familiar genres and styles. For the most part, the songs feel like they are coming from the playback of band from the ’70’s and ’80s. There is some of that classic Detroit rock city sounds amongst plenty of other classic rock moves that will remind you of some of the legends.
The songs are fun and well written. The title track “Rolling Backwards” and “Losing Time” are two clear cut examples of the band bringing an unbridled energy that was manifesting in the ’70s and was kept alive in the ’80s.
“Ringstead Blues” is a solid blues song. However there are some moments that go out of the pocket. There are a number of long songs around the ten-minute mark such as “Drysdale Station” and the bluesy “Gibb River Slide.” As far as highlights go I think “I Don't Know” was a standout.
Caelan Irrgang is a young talent at only seventeen years old but I do have some advice for him because I remember being his age about twenty years ago playing similar music. These songs are very influenced by specific rock sub-genres to the point were I couldn’t pick up on the signature and singular sound of Blue Rock. Caelan Irrgang is young and malleable. I think listening to vastly different music like ambient soundscapes, neoclassical, etc and putting down the legends of rock and blues for a long time would give him more tools. I think finding a signature sound is one of the hardest things a musician can do and much more difficult than learning to play a mixolydian scale in a 1/2 second or learning to play a 7/8 beat.
Overall, this is a great start and a solid batch of songs. I think the foundational areas are covered. Caelan Irrgang has a long journey ahead of him if he sticks with it and I know from experience he is just in the embryonic stage now and is just discovering who he is as a musician. I look forward to hearing his evolution
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