Out of Aotearoa (New Zealand), Hybrid Blues are a 4-piece band, made up of Mike Everard (guitars, vocals), Adam Pendred (bass), Mark Schaumann (drums) and award winning front-man, singer-songwriter Roy Hudson. The band signed to SGNB Records USA, has just released its self-titled blues-based album. No two songs on “Hybrid Blues” sound the same. The record not only showcases Roy’s abilities as a singer and a songwriter, but also highlights the wide range of influences that have impacted on his music. The album takes you in so many different dynamic directions that it can feel a little dizzying, while the musicianship on show here is quite remarkable, and there’s not a bad song among the 11 on offer.
From the aching groove of “Adios” through to atmospheric piano driven “Sunshine”, Roy Hudson and the rest of Hybrid Blues give fans an insight into every corner of their talent, and it’s pretty breath-taking.
In a time when listeners are keen to pigeon-hole artists into one particular box, Hybrid Blues is doing what they want, it’s a pretty bold step but one that ultimately pays off. The eleven-song set is an exploration of a number of flavors including Country-soul, Southern rock, Americana, and of course, the blues.
The album feels so authentic, packs in so many layers and gives you so many feels, that you can’t help but lose yourself in the gorgeous melodies that run throughout. This is slice of organic blues that mesmerizes courtesy of enchanting sonic beauty, radiant nostalgic warmth and timeless sentiments.
“Ain’t Got Time” races out of the blocks with rolling basslines, screaming guitars and soaring vocals. The group continues to boast a ballsy sound, where devil-may-care eclecticism meets solid jamming, on the riff-fueled “Devil Within”.
On “English Lady”, Hybrid Blues slow the pace down to soulful introspection, allowing Mike Everard’s guitar to ache and squeal with passion. Roy Hudson’s voice is commanding and powerful but at the same time restrained for dramatic effect.
“Forsaken” grooves on a funky mid-tempo rhythm, while the backing vocals add a luscious layer to the cheeky, punctuated arrangement. Blessed with genuine conviction, Roy’s delivery allows “Go With The Flow’s” heart-on-sleeve lyrics and melody, to cast a beguiling spell on the listener.
Moving forward, each song is perfectly sculpted, with every note graciously enhancing the infectious earnestness that bubbles from their emotional core. Whether sentimentally painting with the acoustic guitar and piano on “Leaving On A Train”, dispensing the electric blues-drenched urgency of “Little Boat” or striking contagiously overdriven chord changes during “Lonely Man”, each instrumental color is an organic and seamless extension of Hybrid Blues’ impacting storytelling.
Timekeeper Mark Schaumann perfectly drives the momentum of “Rich On Love”, building a solid foundation for the rhythm section, in support of the resonating female lead vocal manipulating the melody. “Sunshine” uses a similar formula, except here the vocals are shared in an uplifting summery duet, as the track emits a revelatory energy.
Magnificent songwriting aside, the caliber of the band’s musicians is notable. With the steadiness of bassist Adam Pendred and drummer Mark Schaumann, the entire band blazes. The instruments create a fortified interplay that often adds impeccable flourish without extravagance.
With the widespread prevalence of electronic trickery in music these days, finding pure, raw talent is a rarity. Hybrid Blues fuses stellar musicianship, heartfelt songwriting and soul-stirring vocals, to create an electrifying album. Hybrid Blues don’t need to strive for authenticity, it’s busting out of every note they play and every word they sing.