Stockholm based Emil & The Ecstatics are
nowadays a well-known name on the European blues and roots scene. After
countless festivals, clubs, and three full-length albums, the band has
proved to be a force to reckon with. Apart from the many great album
reviews, The Ecstatics put a great effort in what they do best - live shows.
This have been confirmed by many Ecstatics' audiences all over Europe. Their
third album "Bit By Bit", consists of a number of original tunes in the
midlands of blues and soul music without being too conservative for that
matter. Their previous also well received albums are titled "Legacy" and
"Emil & The Ecstatics". The front man Emil Arvidsson is a really fine and
deep-voiced singer and a guitarist with a great tone. The other Ecstatics
players are Johan Bendrik, master on Hammond organ and piano, Mats Hammarlöf
on bass, and Marcus Rostedt on drums.
Emil & the Ecstatics self-titled debut puts them right up there with the
best of them (Scandinavian or otherwise). The opener ("On My Feet Again")
hooks you in with its cracking combination of organ, guitar and great vocals
all underpinned by a very tight rhythm section. Once you are hooked, the
combination of highly listenable and danceable tunes (all originals) keeps
you there for the ride through to the intriguingly titled instrumental
closer, "Freddie Deaddie". The combination of the band's retro
sound with front man Emil Arvidsson's contemporary tunes knocks the spots
off many of today's so-called blues bands. Easily one of the top 10 blues
albums of 2004.
Little Larry Hudson officiating, on vocals and guitar, in the clubs of
Chicago's West Side in the 70s, remains a mysterious figure. Originally from
Des Moines (Iowa), where he has recorded a 45t, he then won Chicago and
engraved in 1977 still more single soul before disappearing nowhere.