Guitarist, Jack de Keyzer's incredible 6 String Lover CD is a real pleasure to listen to. It runs the gamut from up-tempo rock 'n' roll to slow old blues. It also features some James Brown-inspired R&B/funk and Robert Johnson-style rootsy blues from the very beginnings of recorded blues.de Keyzer is an impeccable guitarist/singer/songwriter who utilizes his musical gift; drawing from it the finest influences of every era and style of music. He then conveys this diversity with originality and flair.
The musicians featured on 6 String Lover are a Who's Who in Canadian blues, some of whom have gained international recognition from other music endeavors. Joining de Keyzer on guitar is another ‘6 string lover’ virtuoso, Peter ‘Sab’ Sabourin.
Alec Fraserwho at the time of this 2002 recording was de Keyzer's bassist, is also the owner of award-winning Liquid Toronto recording studio, where he engineered and mixed this fine CD. Fraser and de Keyzer produced it. Fraser's assistant engineer on this project, was Shane Scott, who's also featured on stand-up bass on some tracks. Scott is also owner of Bass Line Studio, where de Keyzer's energetic harp player, David Rotundo recorded his own award-nominated debut CD Blowin' For Broke and second CD Blues Ignited with famed blues guitarist Enrico Crivellaro (who recently joined the Electro-Fi label). Scott is also Rotundo's upright bass and electric bassist in David Rotundo and the Blue Canadians as well as bassist in Blues Approved with guitarist Pete Schmidt (Rotundo band).
Michael Fonfaraof the Downchild Blues Band (ex-Electric Flag/Lou Reed/Rhinocerous) goes wild on Hammond B-3 and Fender Rhodes on several tracks. Tony Ajo's energetic drumming is indispensable and always on cue. The same can be said for Perry White's rousing alto and tenor sax playing. A lineup like this goes a long way in helping any recording achieve great success and recognition."Deal Me In" deals the listener into de Keyzer’s musical game with a bang - but it's no gamble because 6 String Lover is a winning CD from start to finish. "Pleasure Is My Business", is the rebel rouser of the bunch. The scorching leads heard herein are performed with wild abandon by de Keyzer along with Fonfara's rousing B-3 playing and White's equally scorching sax virtuosity. This kind of energy is guaranteed to get any dance floor hoppin'.
If Delta slide blues is your bag, "If You Were My Woman (And I Was Your Man)" is made to order. de Keyzer's scintillating slide technique is added to by altering his natural clear vocals with a tone sounding like it might be coming from a harp mic. This technique helps recreate the feeling of gators 'n' catfish in Louisiana bayou country. Added to this imaginative mixture is Fonfara's talent on the ivories, which has a feeling of Sunnyland Slim about them.
"King Of The Blues" has a very B.B. King feel to it. Fonfara's imaginative B-3 on this track, recreates a feeling of B.B.’s horn section. de Keyzer's lead guitar soloing is heard to great effect in this great tune."Rock 'Til We Drop" rocks with the best of 'em. Rock 'n' roll got its name from this kind of ballistic intensity. Sab's superb guitar licks along with de Keyzer's make a mouthwatering musical smorgasborg. When great guitarists such as these two are, swing into high gear, something special happens. Scott's drivin' upright bass lines help this musical mixture rock it up real well.
"Right To It" says it all right here. Its up-tempo bluesy beat showcases de Keyzer's spirited guitar licks, with Fonfara complementing them on B-3. Rotundo’s harp playing races along too, and is fired up Ajo's in-the-pocket drumming. "Funk This" is a funky little de Keyzer number which pays tribute to James Brown, the Godfather of Soul. Funk it, you'll dig it! "Making Love To You" is a beautiful, slow, romantic ballad, that can easily bring the romance out on any occasion."Engine Trouble" offers up the best slow blues around. de Keyzer's bluesy guitar soloing and vocals cry out from within his soul. This musical expression blends perfectly with Sab's solid rhythm guitar playing. "Drivin' Home" is one of those rousing 'car' songs, that gets the adrenalin flowin' with infectious rhythms and scorching guitar leads. Added to this, are de Keyzer's vocals that drive this winner home all the way!
The final tune on this extremely satisfying CD is de Keyzer's tribute to the Father of the Blues, the one and only Robert Johnson. His imaginative rootsy, early guitar blues and singing style, helps recreate the musical feel of Mr. Johnson and his early blues contemporaries in this truly well-crafted de Keyzer original. This solo de Keyzer blues features his expertise on acoustic guitar. Sounds of scratches from an old and very much played B.B. King record are heard in the background to great effect. This creative spark in production values, adds a feeling of going back to the early days of the blues. It successfully captures the aura of the blues of the '20s, and might give the listener a feeling that they’re hearing a rare 'lost' recording from the infancy of the blues.
All the songs featured on 6 String Lover are Jack de Keyzer originals. Whatever de Keyzer plays and composes is of the finest taste, imagination and performance. His love of the 6-string instrument known as guitar, helps it bring forth musical magic in his extremely gifted hands. This special magic is also present wherever Jack de Keyzer performs with his equally incredible band.