Beloved blues maestro Dan Patlansky is back with 20 Stones, his fifth studio album. This time around, he’s doing things a bit differently. While his previous albums were drowning in blues, 20 Stones is a blend of blues and classic rock and roll. Patlansky draws from the two genres to create a ten-track album which reflects why he is easily one of the most skilled guitarists in South Africa.

20 Stones also introduces fans to Patlansky’s voice, which featured minimally on his previous albums. With contributions from Jonny Lang and Tom Waits, the sound is best described as ragged and gravelly. This slight variation in Patlansky’s sound adds a new dimension to his music and most definitely puts a stamp on his brand of the blues.

The title track “20 Stones” stands out as the only acoustic song on the album. Written for the lady in Patlansky’s life, the absence of words makes way for an instrumental piece that is loaded with emotion.

“Bye Bye” is a perfect example of the successful marriage between old school rock and roll and blues. Patlansky’s vocals ooze the sultry trademark of rock and roll, while the moaning of the guitar compliments the ambience already created. “Daddy’s Old Gun” and “Too Late to Cry” are tracks which also prove that the pairing of the two genres is timeless.

“Slap in the Face” starts off as a suave and silky instrumental track. It then progresses into a fast-paced, intense number which leaves you contemplating how Patlansky’s fingers could possibly move so nimbly across a guitar.

While “Lost Your Good Thing Now” is a cover of the BB King classic, Patlansky’s admiration of Stevie Ray Vaughan can be heard in this rendition of the song. Another noteworthy cover is “Bright Lights, Big City”, originally sung by Jimmy Reed. While the song has been covered by various musical stalwarts such as The Rolling Stones and The Animals, Patlansky still manages to makes it his own.

20 Stones is a refreshing departure from the computer-generated music that has bombarded the music market of late. It’s an ode to music that is raw and real. It is dirty and sexy and it will leave you wanting more.

See the “Bye Bye” music video above or @ pPerdeby749c.

RATING: 8/10


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