Single Review of Travellin’ Blue Kings: “Live Your Life” (Naked)
“Live Your Life,” is a rollicking blues number from the Travellin’ Blue Kings, comprised Stephan Hermsen (vocals, harp) and Marc Gijbels (drums), previously from the Dutch band the Electrophonics, Jimmy Hontelé (guitar) and Winne Penninckx (bass), formerly of the Belgian outfit Howlin’ Bill, and Patrick Cuyvers on Hammond organ & piano. Combined, these fellas seem to have found an impressive groove as the Travellin’ Blue Kings.
With this song, the Travellin’ Blues Kings serve up an old-fashioned, harmonica-driven, soaring, gospel-tinged blues number. A jangly blues rhythm atop a steady beat and gruffly commanding blues vocal style lead the way, hinging on the key vocal line, “Live your life, each and every day.” Colored by a short harmonica solo and background harmonies, with the music bed moving between sparse and full as the song’s power requires, the three minutes 24 seconds flies by. There are certainly plenty of opportunities for extended jams during the song, plus a rhythm that would serve well as a backdrop during said jams, so I’d not be shocked to hear much longer versions during live performances.
On the whole, “Live Your Life” is a fun jam, a well-constructed blues tune performed with enthusiasm and energy. It has definitely found a place on my long-term personal playlist, which is why I’ve chosen to review it. Be sure to check it out.
There are several spring and summer festival dates listed on the Travellin’ Blue Kings’ website – scroll down a bit on the main page of the website – three in Belgium, two in France, and one in the Netherlands, stretching from March through August. Of course, if you see a date near you, it would be smart to make the appropriate inquires to ensure the festival will be held this year.
Tomorrow, March 19th, the Travellin’ Blue Kings will drop their next single, “Gotta Get Away.” Keep an eye and an ear out for this testifyin’ vocal-driven blues jam.
“Gotta Get Away” will also be the first single from a slightly revamped line-up. Originally comprised of Dutch and Belgian musicians, COVID-19 made cross-border travel difficult enough that the Travellin’ Blue Kings are now a fully Belgian outfit. The full line-up you’ll hear for the first time on “Gotta Get Away” is JB Biesmans (vocals, saxophone, harp), Jimmy Hontelé (guitar), Patrick Cuyvers (Hammond organ, backing vocals), Winne Penninckx (bass), and Marc Gijbels (drums). So, essentially, JB has stepped in for Stephan. Wicked lotta talent in this band.