Pit Ryan & Mad Men Blues

CD: Part 1: La Midisine Juste, Part 2: Punch Drunk (MFF 025)

You've certainly seen the CD in the recommended section, called "Hong Kong Money". This still gets a regular spin in my CD player. And that is saying a lot. Many records just get lost in the high seas of my collection, despite the fact that they are one of a kind. On the other hand, there's a select few which will be played to death. Not on a have to do but rather on a want to do basis. "Hong Kong Money" sounds still as fresh as the day I got it. This was/is by a band called Mad Men Blues.

These days it's Pit Ryan & Mad Men Blues. That one just came in a couple of weeks ago. A big surprise really, as I hadn't expected another sign of life from this band. Whatever, a first listen to the CD made it clear why I had been listening to their previous CD over and over again. Originality in their way of playing is what this band is seemingly all about. This is a band that knows how to entertain and be honest at the same time. The line-up is almost the same as on the previous CD with the exception of the drummer having been replaced. The band on this album consists of

Pit Ryan: Vocals, Guitar, Kazoo
Stiv-Odor: Guitars
Tune Smith: Bass
Burning Grey Ivanhoe: Drums, Shakers

The band is tight and on the spot. They play very well and with enough verve to make this a superior listening experience. Don't think there's anything amateurish about the band. Quite the contrary, I believe they could take it up with the best, given just about half a chance. The icing on the cake is, once again, their singer. Pit Ryan! I can't remember having any other album in my collection where a singer goes it all the way quite like Pit Ryan does here (and on "Hong Kong Money"). Some things never change and his vocal deliveries have stayed true to the first release. Usually you have a reference point where you go and say "oh, they sound like this or that". Mad Men Blues sound like no other band (at least when the singer comes in). The band, however, is first rate with or without the singer. Pit Ryan adds just this incredible touch to an otherwise excellent piece of music.

While their first album consisted mainly of cover versions in the Wilko Johnson/Dr. Feelgood reign (with only one song written by the performing band themselves), the new CD takes a turn in so far, as about half of the songs are written by Pit Ryan. And corkers they are. They don't need to be hidden. I do applaud every band that comes up with original material. Although, in the case of Mad Men Blues, their covers are originals in one way or the other as well. "Part 1: La Midisine Juste" is where you get the self penned songs. "Part 2: Punch Drunk" is the home for covers like "20 Yards Behind", "I Thought I Hade It Made" and others. 

One word about the packaging of the CD. Excellent job! Before you even hear a single note of this album, you'll note the love that's been put into this project. You don't go to such length if you just want to throw another CD on the market. You do this because there's your heart's blood in this. The very design of this gatefold cover, the inlay booklet and the whole feel make it something special. Italian is the language of choice in the booklet, but don't let this put you off. You're going to miss an outstanding production, if you don't give this a chance.

Writing about the music of Mad Men Blues is as difficult as dancing about food (whoever said that, I can't remember). Please trust yours truly, take the plunge and order the CD from Roberto Pettarini. You can send him an e-mail at: causero@inwind.it (in english or italian). Your support of Mad Men Blues is very much appreciated.