‘Sir’ Oliver Mally & Peter Schneider – Almost There – Blues & Songs (ENG review)

Blind Rope Records
'Sir' Oliver Mally & Peter Schneider - Almost There - Blues & Songs

Oliver Mally comes back with a new album straight from the type of home-made recordings they used to do in the Delta with bits of strings and acoustic guitars, before the devastating effects brought by digital and new technologies. This is how authentic this album really feels!
From the title of the album, ‘Sir’ Oliver lets you know what to expect: ‘Almost There’.  The man at the guitar performs a series of good old blues tracks, each with a good story to tell peppered with instrumentals.  Just listen to ‘Od’d’ or ‘Lots of Rain’, and you feel you are virtually listening to a restored version of our good old J.L. Hooker or one of his pals, it’s so old. ‘Rain Fell Hard’ is sticky and muddy, just like the tracks in the Delta after the rain when the old bluesmen sitting under their porch sang about love, women and this damned tough world they live in. Oliver Mally sings and performs with such a big heart, he makes you feel it’s been too long and you need to go back to the Delta again. Goosepimples guaranteed with the understated but ever so efficient presence of Alex Meik on bass and Peter Lenz on drums. The whole album sounds like a beautiful retrospective of a blues with original tracks which have been rediscovered and given a spring clean to produce a compilation for blues lovers and informed collectors.
What else is there to say about ‘Sir’ Oliver and his accomplice Peter Schneider and their guitar performance, nothing except that the two guys have again improved their game, always excellent with a simplicity that must be envied by those bluesmen who give into demonstrating their techniques and add a maximum of notes per minute. There is never a time you feel their technique dares taking over the music, and that is the strength of these two bluesmen, complementing one another in an exemplary fashion. Peter Schneider confirms here that he is an extraordinary guitar player with his intense, discreet and radiant style, a perfect match to the soft and bewitching voice of Oliver Mally wandering as if he was in a field of cotton.
With his seductive bluesman voice, ‘Sir’ Oliver Mally brings a second soul, that of a white man, to a music which keeps deeply rooted the memory of these African slaves torn away from their native land. There must be a mention of the brilliant composition ‘Almost There’ (the title track of the album) with a guitar performance which will make you think you’ve just found an old 78 record worth a huge amount of money and let’s not forget a magnificent ‘Good Clean Dirty Fun’, a superb  ‘Everybody Knows’ and a sublime ‘Milk & Honey’, eight and a half minutes of shivers down the spine guaranteed! Without hesitation, it is undoubtedly one of the best acoustic blues song of this decade!
‘Almost there’, a magnificent, sepia coloured album (just like the vinyl cover) in keeping with ‘Sir’ Oliver Mally previous albums. An absolute ‘must have’, even if we would have loved for the duo to give us a little more than nine tracks, it is so good! This album not only deserves absolute respect but also the right to be up there with the blues legends: an outstanding record, in both content and form, a tribute to a blues from another time. Listening to ‘Sir’ Oliver Mally is like looking up at the night sky in New Orleans, whilst walking through the fields of cotton. A moving and at the same time uplifting album, a must!

Frankie Bluesy Pfeiffer
Chief editor – PARIS-MOVE

PARIS-MOVE, July 7th 2024

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Tracks (vinyl):
A side:
01. Od’d
02. Almost There
03. Lots Of Rain
04. Rain Fell Hard
05. Good Clean Dirty Fun
B side:
06. Everybody Knows
07. Spellbound
08. This Road
09. Milk And Honey