The review on the Maverick site
Wild, Blue & True
Blue Rose DP0532
Down home gritty Americana from Germany
Blue Rose Records have always been a very loyal supporter of Americana and Roots music in Europe and have brought some of the best artists and albums to our attention when no one else would touch them with a bargepole.
As Markus Rill is the only German artist on the label, I had the feeling he must be pretty special…and he is.
The album instantly captured my attention with the opening line of the opening track, Wild Blue True-Hearted Man as Rill’s well worn voice sings; ‘I don’t always like the man I am/but I love the way you make me feel’ over a softly strummed guitar and a gut wrenching harmonica.
A rocking duet with Annika Fehling, Your Own Private Rainbow follows and I was hooked. This guy can write really good authentic Americana songs and has a voice that sounds like he’s lived and worked in rural Indiana or Tupelo all of his life.
Rill’s tale of boxer Skinny Teddy name checks Ali and Clay and the Rumble in the Jungle while telling us about a kid with a dream that takes one punch too many and it wouldn’t be out of place on a Tom Russell or Steve Earle album.
Not long afterwards Rill takes another unusual subject and writes a stunning song, when he recalls a harrowing tale of a teenage suicide in The Boy Who Never Was My Friend. If this had been recorded by one of Americana’s ‘legends’ it would be hailed as a masterpiece.
WILD, BLUE & TRUE is an ‘instant’ album but takes repeated listenings to get the best out of it as some of the lyrics and stories need time to unravel and make you think ‘WOW!’ But, boy is the listening easy on the ears.
Maybe More is a tale of a man, who quits drinking for a woman, but she leaves him anyway and Time To Go is about a man with a tumor and facing death, but hey, Markus Rill has written a great song as the man holding his wife’s hand and he tells her ‘The time has come for me to go/don’t hang your head and cry/help me find my own way home.’ For what it’s worth I pictured Johnny Cash and June as tears filled my eyes.
There’s not a bad song on the album and in Markus Rill, Maverick has unearthed yet another Diamond in a musical World of Zircon.
by Alan Harrison