Imagine Leon Redbone with a German accent. On second thought, we don't have to go quite that far. But Theessink, a Netherlander who now lives in Austria, shares with Redbone a deep, growly voice and an affection for bluesy songs, old and new.
He writes and sings in English, and this album's six original songs include the articulate "My Baby Changed the Lock on Her Door." In fact, the tune that sounds as if it had been written by a non-English speaker or at least might be about kidney problems, "Stones in My Passway," was written by American bluesman Robert Johnson. There are also such traditional blues as "Slidin' Delta" and Big Bill Broonzy's "When Things Go Wrong."
Theessink, who also plays guitars and mandolin, is backed up by a band including the thumping tuba of Jon Sass, Christian Dozler's harmonica, Flaco Jimenez's accordion and singers Dana Gillespie and Pippa Armstrong. There's a down-home feel to the project, even if down-home in this case might be way down upon the Danube. (Flying Fish)