In recent years an astonishing renaissance of Bavarian rock has caught the awareness of media and audiences all over Germany. Artists and bands of very varied subgenres have shook up the music scene with their refreshing use of Bavarian dialect in their lyrics. One of the central musicians of this movement is the Munich based blues guitarist, songwriter and bandleader Schorsch Hampel (Schorsch & de Bagasch), a true original and a real character, who for decades has unerringly followed his very own artistic paths.
That the stylistic foundations of his music are not to be found in his homeland Bavaria, but far, far away, across the Atlantic becomes impressively clear with his new solo album “Pull Off The Road”. On this record Schorsch has assembled more than a dozen instrumentals, the finest of those compositions “which have piled up over the years in my shadow repertory, somehow urging to finally come to light one day.”
By far not a collection of secondary remaining stock these fifteen tracks show Schorsch Hampel as an amazingly versatile and well versed axeman, who has internalized the tricks and tools of guitar greats like Steve Cropper (Booker T & The MGs) or legendary Meters-founding member Leo Nocentelli and Stevie Ray Vaughan or Johnny Guitar Watson (“Hot Up The Engine”) to British aces as Dave Gilmour and Peter Green so perfectly, that he can blend them with nonchalant ease into his own shimmering and delicately nuanced personal style. Still he never puts his guitar playing into the foreground: being much more interested in the songs themselves, he proves to be a truly gifted arranger, who conjures from sparse means a maximum of variety and effect - be it brisk brass riffs and catchy grooves in uptempo funk songs or smooth keyboard sounds in soulful ballades. Still there is a leitmotif and a common thread - not only because the album can be understood as a kind of imaginary nightly spin with the AM-radio blasting from the car stereo, beginning with „Hot Up The Engine“ and finally ending “Late In The Morning”. But also, because in every bar one can feel how deeply Schorsch Hampel's artistic identity is rooted in the soul music and R&B of the 60ies and 70ies. New Orleans seems to be as deep in his genes as his hometown of Munich. A Tour de bleu - cool, casual, authentic.