Sven Zettenberg

Blues from Within

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From jazz to heavy metal, alternative rock and pop/rock, Swedes have had no problem singing convincingly in English. The blues are, of course, the foundation of all of those styles -- none of them would have come about were it not for the blues -- so it's quite appropriate that Sweden also has some talented bluesmen as well. After recording several albums with the Chicago Express, Swedish bluesman Sven Zettenberg debuted as a solo artist with Blues from Within. The singer/guitarist offers a large dose of electric Chicago blues on this excellent Swedish release, but he also demonstrates his proficiency with a moody, Bobby "Blue" Bland-ish approach on "People Don't Do Like They Used to Do" and with a fast, T-Bone Walker-influenced Texas shuffle on his own "Plenty of Everything." Zettenberg detours into 1960s soul on his infectious "She's Doing the Boogaloo," and his sentimental performance on "My Deepest Emotions" recalls 1950s Fats Domino. One song that really tests what Zettenberg is made of is B.B. King's "You're Breaking My Heart" -- tackling a gem that was defined by a true giant of the blues, he steps up to the plate and hits a home run. The Swede's enunciation in English is impressive, and one hears only the slightest traces of a Scandinavian accent on this consistently inspired and focused, if derivative, CD.

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