Blues Critic

By Dylann DeAnna

Soul is soul whether your name is Tyrone, Aretha or Emil. The timeless music of black culture has graced and has been embraced worldwide. Sweden’s Emil & The Ecstatics pay tribute to the Soul/Blues genre with an impressive, authentic set of 12 covers on ”Legacy” (****). Singer Emil Arvidsson says in the liners he picked six artists who’ve impacted his life and has cut 2 songs performed by each. Emil’s rich, vibrato-heavy voice nails Otis Rush’s ”You Know My Love” as do his tart guitar licks here and ”Three Times A Fool”. Next he and the Ecstatics, consisting of Johan Bendrik (organ, piano), Mats Hammarlof & drummer Tom Steffensen, render smoking takes on Albert King’s ”Wild Woman” & ”Left Hand Woman”. Jacob Norgren (sax), Christian Pederson (sax) and Karl Olandersson (trumpet) augment Don Bryant’s ”The Call Of Distress” & ”She’s Lookin’ Good”. From there Magic Sam, Lonnie Mack & Little Milton also get 2 song tributes and every single cut is terrific. Britain’s James Hunter may be all the rage with his homage to 60’s Soul/Blues but Emil & The Ecstatics may just trump that lad. Highly recommended. Visit for more info.