I still remember well sitting in front of a television set in 1964 watching the Beatles historic appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show and witnessing the birth of the legendary “British Invasion”. I recall thinking that the Beatles were good, but it would be some of the bands following them to the US who would really get my attention. As bands like the Animals, Kinks, Yardbirds, and others gained airplay on US radio, it was apparent to me that there was great energy associated with their raw blend of 50s rock and blues. Then, in early 1965, my radio delivered to me the first of what would become many such doses of mega high voltage from Great Britain when it first played for my ears “I Can’t Explain” from the Who. This band, more than any others of their time, was all about energy. Here was rock music with an attitude, and that attitude begat energy. Over the years, I have drawn enough energy from music like this to illuminate every light bulb in North America.

With that said, in the mail a short while back, I received a truly remarkable CD, “Living In Sin” from the Belgium based blues/rock power trio the Barfly’s. I knew from the first time this CD hit my player that it was a very special recording. As did those early Who recordings, this CD has attitude. Also like those early blues/rock artists, the Barfly’s sound is simultaneous both raw and accomplished. Unlike many present bands that feature a hot guitarist flanked by also-rans, Tom Van de Reydt’s powerful guitar and solid vocals are capably supported by excellent bassist Peter Janssens, and the precise percussion of Eric De Schutter. And, unlike many other bands, these highly talented individual components of whom the Barfly’s are composed, fit together perfectly. With lyrics, sound and energy so powerfully generated from parts that fit together this well , the Barfly’s are a band with a tremendous future.

Each of the CDs 11 tracks are well written originals which vary in style but not in energy levels. My personal favorites are the powerful title track, the hard driving “Bring Back Your Heart”, and the blues/rockers “Ain’t No Big Thing” and “Dealin’ Love”. Though these are my favorites, the entire CD is top notch. Quite frankly, I have been having a lot of trouble listening to anything else since I received this CD and I moved it ahead of several others that I had already targeted to review.

I am rating “Living In Sin” by the Barfly’s as a “must own” and it receives my highest possible recommendation to you. The CD is available at the band’s web site and online via Frontstage.

The Band:
Tom Van de Reydt: Guitars, vocals
Peter Janssens: Bass, backing vocals
Eric De Schutter: Drums, backing vocals

1 Bring Back Your Heart
2 Get Up
3 Boogie Man
4 Living In Sin
5 6teen Angel
6 Dealin` Love
7 In My Dreams
8 Too Much
9 Sweet Marie-Ann
10 Ain`t No Big Thing
11 Barfly Boogie

© Bluesrockers 2001


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