The Blue Poets, All It Takes, album review, Rock and Blues Muse

The Blue Poets
By Mike O’Cull

The Blue Poets are a rapidly emerging new band from Hamburg, Germany with a well-executed 70s rock sound that has a strong blues influence. The group’s new album All It Takes greets the world September 13th, 2019 on the Triple Coil Music label. The record is a tight nine-song statement meant to speak to the Searching Generation and speak, it does. It uses a tough blues/rock sound to give meaningful insights into pain, longing, and current events and the reactions they provoke.

The Blue Poets is a four-man crew led by virtuoso guitarist Marcus Deml who received the “Guitar Hero Award” from the magazine Guitar, and includes vocalist Gordon Grey, drummer Felix Dehmel, and bassist Phil Steen. Together, they make rock music that avoids the typical clichés, perfectly blends edge and melody, and has an obvious originality to it. Grey is a gruff and powerful singer who fits this music well and delivers excellent performances throughout All It Takes. Guitarist Deml is a unique and gifted player with a wonderful Strat/Marshall tone, compelling melodic ideas, and the wisdom needed to balance his considerable chops on top of memorable songs that move the crowd.

All It Takes kicks off with the hard-punching “Angry Man,” which is a bare-knuckle commentary on the social rage that has so many people in its grip these days. Marcus Deml starts the tune with a cool, quietly-swinging intro riff but quickly blasts off into the atmosphere when the band drops in. The sound is somewhere between Led Zeppelin and ZZ Top but also shows a lot of individuality and creative fire. “Ain’t no use in trying to break through to me / I’m just an angry man,” Grey sings, articulating the resentment and ferocity that too many of us feel every day. It’s an attention-grabbing track that hits its target dead on.

The title song, “All It Takes,” is over seven minutes of rock and roll bliss that pairs a slow and heavy riff and verse with an unexpectedly melodic chorus section. It has a dynamic and atmospheric heaviness to it that first gets mellow to lure you in and then delivers the knockout blow. Energy ebbs and flows from beginning to end and the band’s highly interactive performance is amazing, organic, and real. “Crawling” gets even lower-down and lets Grey show us the softer, emotional side to his voice. Deml plays bold and sweet guitar licks all over the track and displays a composer’s knack for phrasing and knowing when to speak softly or scream. Both “Crawling” and “All It Takes” are sprawling, soulful epics that tell listeners in no uncertain terms that The Blue Poets are willing to fearlessly dive deep and go long to make an artistic point. It’s a refreshing stance in this era of short and shallow and it doesn’t go unnoticed.

“Cyber Love” is a straight-ahead rocker with a sense of humor and deals with what love has become in the online world. Felix Dehmel turns in a fine take on drums that drives and motivates the tune while Deml pushes his riffs over him.

The album’s final cut is “The Day,” a gentle guitar-and vocal song about how we each deal with our own mortality. Grey practically whispers his lyrics and Deml gives us his most delicate and beautiful guitar work of the whole record. It’s an ideal last song that gives emotional closure to All It Takes by The Blue Poets and leaves listeners in a state of peace. The Blue Poets are a creatively important band whose music shows how much can still be done within the blues/rock format. If your playlists have gone stale, All It Takes might be just the album you need to feel the music again.

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