Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Hobo ~ Blues Jim Morrisonnak

(Click on heading to visit official website.)
Style: Tribute, Hungarian, progressive, hard rock, blues-rock, experimental
Label: MUSIC Budaors Kft
Year: 2001
Home: Budapest, Hungary

Members: Hobo ~ vocals
Szabolcs Nagy ~ keyboards/b.vocals
Janos Varga, Gyorgy Pribill ~ guitar
Viktor Hars ~ bass/b.vocals
Lajos Gyenge ~ drums

For those that speak Hungarian the title says it all Blues Jim Morrisonnak, or Blues Of Jim Morrison. And, that's exactly what this tribute is, though taken into some interesting directions by Hungary's reigning Jim Morrison imitator/fan/keeper-of-the-flame Hobo, who tends to invibe the spirit of the music, poetry and art more than any physical resemblance to the life of the departed icon. To clarify, once during my 9 months living in Budapest, I stumbled upon a poetry reading by Hobo dedicated to Morrison in a rather fancy venue ... not exactly the Morrison we remember, albeit considering that once drugged out Lou Reed has done poetry readings who knows what MOrrison might be doing if he was still alive and nearing 70. This release takes a unique twist to being a tribute as it features an array of Doors songs translated into Hungarian, with some of Hobo's own poetry thrown in eulogizing Morrison, against an incredibly wide musical palette that's blues-rock, honky-tonk piano, 80's guitars and the Doors trademark prog rock. At times (i.e. "Alabama Song") it sounds like music from a circus, i.e. a little fun, odd and flamboyant, but given the reputation of the Doors the circus might be the perfect mood. They were their own circus with the greatest of ringmasters. So, this is essentially less a tribute then a new creation as the songs get such a work-out. "Wild Child", "The Spy", "Roadhouse Blues", "Five To One", "Waiting For The Sun", "When The Music's Over" & "Alabama Song" all get the Hobo treatment, which is typically pumped up blues-rock against Hobo's very non-Morrison sounding deep gruff voice. With his blues band and on his own Hobo, aka Laszlo Foldes, until his retirement in 2010 at age 66 had been churning out the blues since 1977 and is nothing but an expert on the form with a voice many blues musicians would love to have, let alone having released two previous tributes to the Doors in 1987 and 1996. The Doors may not be a blues or hard rock band, but their music lends itself well. Though, there's definetly something about hearing "Alabama Song" in a strange gutteral language even rougher than German to most ears ... though I still can understood some of it it's still strange sounding to me ... where the only recognizable words are "Whisky Bar ... Alabama". On one hand you can't help but be reminded of the original or English versions, but on the other hand this comes across as so much more than just another tribute. Rarely do tributes hold their own this well, hard as hard and instill new life in the songs as though the songs were new by the performing band and not forty years old and from thousands of miles away. I only have to ask ... have Ray, Robby & John heard this and what do they think? What would Jim think? I have a strange thing all of them would be inspired by it.


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