Michael Messer And Chaz Jankel Take A Ride

It’s great when unexpected collaborations happen, especially when one of creative parties just recently emerged from solo-recording sabbatical only to find his composer’s juices flowing energetically enough to attract a kindred spirits. That’s how events went for the great Chaz Jankel who delivered an impressive platter titled “Flow” last year and now arranged a joint effort with another British guitarist, bluesman Michael Messer.

Slated for release on January 19th, the duo’s debut album “Mostly We Drive” is comprised solely of originals and apparently marks Jankel’s first full-blown musical alliance outside of his work with BYZANTIUM and THE BLOCKHEADS, and having Messer – a six-stringer for whose project RHYTHM OIL Johnny Cash, a fan, once penned liner notes – as a sparring partner feels ingenious. But where did it all start?

“‘Mostly We Drive’ is the title track of our album,” explains Chaz, expanding on this number’s genesis. “One day in 2022 Michael turns up with the basic rhythm and chords for this song. When he first played me the idea on his phone, I immediately thought of a relentless chugging bass line, and the chorus repeat of ‘drive’ – almost as if a cartoon character, possibly a muppet – was echoing it. As a 70th birthday present, Michael had given me one of the resonator guitars that he designs, and one of the first ideas I played on it are the chords you hear on the intro and outro of ‘Mostly We Drive.’ By the way, the video was shot in my garden studio.”

Mostly We Drive

1. Runaway Train
2. Slow Down Billy
3. Mostly We Drive
4. It Doesn’t Matter
5. I Have Seen The Light
6. Arcadia
7. Music Brings Us Close Together
8. Blues Maker
9. Bloodline
10. Visions Of Hope
11. Time Well Spent

November 24, 2023

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