Archive for the Point Blank Blues Band Category

Point Blank Blues Band – A Whiter Shade Of Blue 2008

Posted in BLUES, Point Blank Blues Band on December 17, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Point Blank Blues Band – A Whiter Shade Of Blue 2008
Studio 5, Belgrade, October 2008

Blues

Point Blank Blues Band seems to go from strength to strength, and each CD is a little better than the one before. It makes me wonder how long they can keep improving! If you haven’t heard any of their previous CDs, or read reviews of them, this is a band from the former Yugoslavia, based in Belgrade in what is now Serbia. These are extremely competent musicians, who very obviously know and love the blues. How easy can it be composing and singing the blues in a language that isn’t the one that you were brought up speaking? That the blues the band produces is high on the scale of excellence is even more amazing.

Here then is the band’s latest offering, A Whiter Shade Of Blue (PGP Records_ — 12 tracks of original blues all written by the mainstay of the band, and man who calls himself Dr. (Dragoljub Crncevic).

The album opens with “The Devil, God & I,” a medium tempo track with some really well played keyboards from Darko Grujic laying down a base for the guitar work from Dr. Maybe I should mention at this stage, that the six-piece Pointblank Blues Band are joined by eight guest musicians playing a variety of instruments, including mandolin, dobro and gusle – no, I hadn’t heard of it either! (it’s a single, or sometimes two, stringed instrument quite popular in the Balkan region).

Track two, “Belgrade Blues,” slows down just a little, and is pure blues that could come from anywhere in the USA, if it wasn’t for the reference to Belgrade

The lyrics, and the vocals, on track three, “A Song For V,” are reminiscent of some of Leonard Cohen’s better material, slow and moody, and well put together, and maybe mixed with a hint of Chris Rea.
Track four, is a strange mix of sounds from a radio which just didn’t work for me at all, but it’s only just over a minute long, so I can’t criticize the band for this little indulgence, and it leads into “Golden Arrows” which is a rock-blues number built around the keyboards and haunting guitar.

“Last Pain,” which is track number six, is best described as Balkan blues, I guess, as it includes some east European violin playing – this adds an interesting flavour to the track, and I found it compulsive listening and a really refreshing look at the blues.

Track seven lifts the tempo to a shuffle beat on “Mama I Blew It,” and then “No Pride” takes you by complete surprise with a country flavour supplied by pedal steel guitar, courtesy of guest musician Mirko Tomic. A good track, but maybe a little out of place here amongst the really good blues material.

My favourite track on this album is a choice between “Belgrade Blues” and the largely instrumental “Roll On,” which almost had me out of the chair and dancing! However, I think “Belgrade Blues” just takes the place as my favourite.
Listen to this CD and hear some refreshing changes.
By Terry Clear.
**
Point Blank, probably, the first real blues band in former Yugoslavia, enough honest and brave to dive deep into the blues idiom at the time which was over piled with music so much different from blues, as well as fighting against, for so, so long, firmly established opinion that Balkans couldn’t cope with such kind of feelings arose from dark depths of American black society’s spiritual tradition. English language finally cemented down the prejudice, casting away an idea to playing blues music as already highly respected form of musical expression. But…,
as always happens, something was creeping out from the cellar!
The very beginning of the summer 1983 found Dragoljub Crncevic-Baki, the prodigal son, and two, the off-road pals of his, one Timothy Davis an American, the other Michael Sulc an Australian, coming to visit Baki’s hometown Belgrade, in which somewhere in shadows languished Dragan Markovic, a. k. a. Mare di Luna, waiting for an opportunity to knock!
That summer was good as any other, and almost out of nothing came out the very first true YU blues outfit, Dr. Project – Point Blank. During that summer, Dr. Project – Point Blank boasted quite a reputation as a blues group through live appearances, which led to an idea of recording the very first YU LP in English, entirely self composed, which would range from bottleneck to all-electric city blues based on Chicago and Detroit downtown guitar styles. Again, as usually happens, drummer Michael Sulc got homesick and left. Not long after that another fine drummer, Miroljub Vilotijevic, was augmented to the group. The wheels started turning…!
Mr. Djordje Debac, musical producer of PGP-RTB, was wise enough, after listening to demo, for not longer than five minutes, to give the group their first contract. The necessary time for recording in studio came along.
The very outfit, mentioned above, comprising of D. Crncevic-Baki (vocal, guitars), D. Markovic(guitars),TimothyDavis(vocals, bass) and M. Vilotijevic (drums, percussion),
brought out their first born and gave him his Christian name, The Blues!
After, by critics, well received first album and public acclaim, Point Blank proved, for the first time in the history of YU rock, that English language and musical expression in its blues form couldn’t have been a barrier for approaching wider audience.
That fact opened the door to formation of the steady blues scene first in Belgrade, then in other cities like Novi Sad, Nis, Zagreb, etc. Finally blues became incorporated into Yugoslav musical body for good. At the time of the first LP Timothy Davis unfortunately left, and was briefly replaced by the newcomer Sasa Labudovic. However, by second album group’s direction was begining to shift away from the blues as evidenced in numbers such as Glass Rider and Sisters of Mercy, as well as experimenting with rhythm in Broken Toillette’s Seat Blues, showing necessary complexity in arrangements throughout the material. Well composed, arranged and imaginative, Dr. Project – Point Blank, the second album remains possibly the finest Point Blank’s album to date.
In late summer 1986, not long after very successful Mid-European tour, due to internal stresses D. Markovic departed to form his own group, Di Luna Blues Band, which is doing well since then. Replacement was found in Aleksandar Kozakijevich with whome band kept on constant gigging across former Yugoslavia. By the end of 1991 along came well known crissis. Yugoslavia was splitted and the band fell apart altogether. Point Blank went down into a period of hibernation.
During 1995 and 1996, Point Blank came out as trio, D. Crncevic (vocal, guitars) with R. Bulatovic (bass) and M. Karlovic (drums), cutting rather disappointing, Southern Comfort, their third album, falling apart for the second time after a handful of gigs.
In attempt to put up Point Blank on its feet again, D. Crncevic gathered completely new outfit consisting of one time member A. Kozakijevich (guitar), D. Grujic (keyboards), D. Petrovic (bass), G. Ilic (drums), (who replaced B. Balos), with the addition of the third guitarist B. Milosevic.
This lineup recorded much improved Sunny Sky, the fourth album, by the end of summer 1997. In that formation Point Blank has been touring Yugoslavia, Macedonia and Italy during 1997 and 1998. Not long after Christmas 1998 all members left except keyboards player Darko Grujic and founder member Dragoljub Crncevic. Two young musicians were brought in, Zoran Milenkovic on bass and Jovan Pejcinovic on drums, which rounded up new, rejuvenated quartet, ready to bite down hard! After a couple of months of rehearsing during 2000 this new formation occupied studio, for a week’s time during December the same year, and recorded excellent LP having John O’Leary, prominent British harmonica hero, as a guest.
Boys, wish you the best luck ever!
By Oliver Trifkovic
**
Blues guitarist and singer Dragoljub Crncevic (born in 1956. In Belgrade) found himself 1977th in Paris. Serving up playing in the street and subway. On his return he founded a group Dragoljubov taxi with whom he released the LP “Dragoljubov taxi” (PGP RTB 1979).. In the early eighties again traveling around Europe and playing blues in clubs. In Milan, he met an American Timothy Alexander Davis (Timothy Alexander Davis), and drummer, Australians of Czech origin, Michael Schulz (Michael Schultz) and playing with them. At the beginning of the 1983rd The three men come to Belgrade and with guitarist Dragan Markovic (ex Blues quintet) formed the blues group Point Blank.

In the beginning, performing mainly at clubs, and the first major success achieved when the flight 1983rd The sale garden SKC. On their debut album “The Blues” 1984. The present is Crnceviccevim songs in English and in that time the group arrives reputation concert attraction. Pocetkom 1984. Michael goes into the hard rock group of Fire wolf, but soon he went to Australia and Davis in America. The new members become the bass player and drummer Sasha Labudovic Miroljub Vilotijevic (ex-Blues Quintet). On the second album “Dr. Project – Point Blank”, a guest trumpeter Steve Gut, and the group offers topics that genre beyond. This allows them a great concert activities, so during 1985. The holding about one hundred and fifty performances throughout Yugoslavia, which is the time for such non-commercial band great success. That year, the Order of Louisiana (Louisiana Red) participate in the Second International Blues Festival in the Polish town Olišcinu, play in the Warsaw clubs, and the 25 000 seats perform at a rock festival near Poznan.

After returning from Poland Dragan Markovic left the group and osniiva Di Luna Blues Band, and was replaced by Alex Kozakijevic. 1986. group ceases to operate, Crncevic one time I performed, and then he went to Italy. After returning 1987th year using the nickname Baki announces solo album “Into The Heart” in which recording processing standards such as “Everybody’s Talking” and “Cocaine” Fred Neil (Fred Neil), and their music influenced country sound and JJ Cale (JJ cale). In 1991. with studio musicians recorded the album “Southern comfort,” but the material does not play live.

In the spring of the 1993rd year with Dragan Markovic, the short run cover group Blue Taxi. Since 1994. The new lineup led by Point Blank in which Darko Grujic (keyboards), Darko Petrovic (bass) and Branko Baloš (drums), although the setup is subject to frequent change. For the compilation album “The Belgrade Blues Today” (PGP RTS 1994.) Recorded the theme “Baby Blues”. Comeback CD “Sunny Sky” features new songs along the lines of Dragoljub American west coast sound seventies ..
**
Point Blank, probably, the first real blues band in former Yugoslavia, enough honest and brave to dive deep into the blues idiom at the time which was over piled with music so much different from blues, as well as fighting against, for so, so long, firmly established opinion that Balkans couldn’t cope with such kind of feelings arose from dark depths of American black society’s spiritual tradition. English language finally cemented down the prejudice, casting away an idea to playing blues music as already highly respected form of musical expression. But…, as always happens, something was creeping out from the cellar!
In the beginning, performing mainly at clubs, and the first major success achieved when the flight 1983rd The sale garden SKC. On their debut album “The Blues” 1984. The present is Crnceviccevim songs in English and in that time the group arrives reputation concert attraction. Pocetkom 1984. Michael goes into the hard rock group of Fire wolf, but soon he went to Australia and Davis in America. The new members become the bass player and drummer Sasha Labudovic Miroljub Vilotijevic (ex-Blues Quintet). On the second album “Dr. Project – Point Blank”, a guest trumpeter Steve Gut, and the group offers topics that genre beyond. This allows them a great concert activities, so during 1985. The holding about one hundred and fifty performances throughout Yugoslavia, which is the time for such non-commercial band great success. That year, the Order of Louisiana (Louisiana Red) participate in the Second International Blues Festival in the Polish town Olišcinu, play in the Warsaw clubs, and the 25 000 seats perform at a rock festival near Poznan.
A Whiter Shade Of Blue is the latest in a series of albums that the group was released and it shows the seriousness of the band after many years.
**
Darko Grujic– Keyboards & Back Vocal
Nikola Ðokic- Drums
Zoran Milenkovic– Bass Guitar
Blagoje Nedeljkovic- Drums
Dragoljub Dr.Crncevic– Vocals & Guitar
Nenad Stošic– Percussions.
**
01.The Devil, God & I  5:06
02.Belgrade blues  4:26
03.A Song for V.  4:31
04.Buda’s Lament (Radio VOX)  1:18
05.Golden Arrows  4:14
06.Last Pain  5:00
07.Mama I Blew it  3:25
08.No Pride  3:49
09.Gonna get Better  4:18
10.Will we Ever See  4:12
11.Roll on  3:27
12.Love That Hurts  7:05
**

Continue reading

Advertisements