Review: Thorbjørn Risager & The Black Tornado – ‘Navigation Blues’

Thorbjørn Risager & The Black Tornado have been recognised widely already, with seven albums already under their belts and high praise from the one and only Dan Aykroyd for their work, but this eighth album, ‘Navigation Blues’, only serves to prove how good they are at what they do, and continue to cement them as one of the best modern blues bands out there.

The first single released from the album was ‘Watch The Sun Go Down’, which is a tuneful song that starts with a catchy guitar riff from one of the Black Tornado’s talented guitarists – presumably Joachim Svensmark, but possibly Risager himself – that’s bound to get your feet tapping, even before the smoothness of Risager’s voice interrupts the flow of the instrument and layers over it perfectly. ‘The Way You Make Me Feel’ is a catchy little number with a delightful little twanging of the guitar, fairly simple but enough to provide a solid base for the smooth vocals of Risager and his backing singers, who combine forces brilliantly to create something that sounds polished, but not too polished.

My personal favourite off the album is ‘Taking The Good With The Bad’, an upbeat tune that unfortunately marks the shortest on the album. The lyrics are uplifting, and the combination of voices work gorgeously, and the piano breakdown towards the middle is so entirely fun that it’s hard not to be dancing along to the beat, even if you’re sitting down already. As if to directly contrast this, the song just preceding it is ‘Blue Lullaby’, a much slower, but still brilliantly performed song, that has a slightly more sorrowful touch. The instrumental is much more peeled back, allowing the mournful lyricism to take centre stage, and do a wonderful job of it.

It’s a very solid album overall, with many a perfectly cut gem to be found amongst its fellows. You can tell there’s a very well-trained sound there, and they do well to make sure it comes across with just the right degree of production. It’s an album you can both dance and contemplate life to, in equal measure.

The band are in white-hot form and will be showcasing their new material across Europe for the rest of 2022. Thorbjørn Risager says: “Playing live in front of an audience makes you feel alive. That’s the best way to describe it, I think. It’s good to feel alive,”. All tour dates can be found here.

Available September 30th via Provogue/Mascot Label Group.

Review – El Vipond

Photo credits – Christoffer Askman


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