Recorded at Electraphonic Recording Studios in late 2019, 'Stronger Than Strong' is the exciting new release from Blues Music Award (BMA) winner John Németh.
The opening bars of ‘Come And Take It’ quickly set the tone of the rest of record. Soulful harmonica and a riff like John Lee Hooker quickly establishes the tone of the record. The hypnotic riffing on ‘Fountain Of A Man’ leads the listener into a reassuring familiar genre with an exciting new twist.
Switching up-tempo, the gospel fuelled ‘I Can See Your Love Light Shine’ hints at the link between blues, gospel and ska, while the boogie-based ‘Throw Me In The Water’ is a radio friendly melodic rocker.
Németh’s band The Blue Dreamers are a road-tested, tight combo. The record was recorded mostly live in the studio with minimal overdubs and the chemistry and feel for the music between the musicians shines through. In particular, nineteen-year-old guitarist John Hay excels himself as he blends the sounds of Steve Cropper and Albert King with his own style.
The standout track in the collection is the socially aware ‘Bars’. With a slow, soulful melody, it cleverly covers a range of subjects afflicting today’s society highlighting the multiple meanings of and uses for the word bars.
A faithful cover of Jesse Belvin’s ‘Guess Who’ allows Németh and band to breathe new life into the 1959 hit, whereas on his cover of Junior Parker’s ‘Sometimes’, he turns the original horn drenched boogie shuffle into a brooding blues tune underpinned by guitar and featuring some of Németh’s best harmonica playing on the album.
‘Stronger than Strong’ is a record that pays tribute to the classic era of Atlantic and Stax Records by mixing classic soul, gospel, and blues influences with raucous harmonica playing and memorable feel-good songs, all lead by Németh’s smooth velvet vocal tones.