Album Review of
Standing in the Light of a Brand New Day

Label: R&S Music

Genres: Blues, Pop, World, Jazz

Styles: Contemporary Blues, Acoustic Blues, Contemporary Swamp Blues, Singer/Songwriter, African, Blues, Traditional Jazz

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Written by Joe Ross
October 3, 2021 - 12:59am EDT
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From Belgium, guitarist and singer Guy Verlinde provides a deep exploration of his soulful blues roots on his new release, Standing in the Light of a Brand New Day, recorded between the first and the second 2020 corona lockdowns in Belgium. One of that country’s hardest working blues musicians, Verlinde showed interest in music from a very early age. More recently, in the past decade, he’s released albums on an almost annual basis, and he performs both solo and in band settings. A few of his regular bandmates who appear on this album are Olivier Vander Bauwede (guitar, harmonica & backing vocals), Karl Zosel (bass) and Tom Eylenbosch (piano).  Other instrumentalists include Frederik Van den Berghe (drums), René Stock (double bass), Elias Storme (tenor sax), Thomas Van Gelder (alto sax), Cedric De Lat (bugle) and Dominique Della Nave (trombone). Backing vocals are handled by Naomi Noomz Sijmons, Richard van Bergen and Tom Beardslee.

Verlinde sings passionately, with his European accent, about girlfriends, heroes and insights that he fashions musically into personal statements. I especially enjoyed those more high-spirited tracks, such as “I’m Your Man,” “Surrender to the Groove,” “Both Sides of the Blues” and “Up on the Mountain.” Some were arranged and recorded with a horn section. The tuneful set also includes some witticisms in songs like “Karma’s Gonna Kick Your Ass,” as well as some folksy stories of romantic love, life’s left turns and rude awakenings. Guy Verlinde deserves a wider listen from an international audience that appreciates straightforward songs, with poignant lyrics and modest vocals to match. (Joe Ross, Roots Music Report)