Rave Reviews for ‘Spirit of the Blues’

Christian Collin has captured the “Spirit of The Blues” with this set. Everybody knows the blues consoles and the blues rocks and rolls, and this young man really brings it all home with this one!!

Spirit of The Blues is certainly not a passive listening experience. The sound is dense and powerful, the kind of music you put on when you have things to do, and you need a little help in the motivation department. I’m really diggin’ on Spirit of The Blues, from the tight performances of all involved to the spirit of the songs themselves. This, gang, is the really good stuff.


It seems that when Collin pays the blues, there is always a lofty aspiration to the event; these are blues that often elevate and dignify. Where does that come from? The lyrics he sings are unusually expressive and aware. The music that lifts them is sometimes hard-driving, sometimes thick as molasses, and always the perfect fit for the storytelling.
There’s a lot to like about Spirit of the Blues. Christian Collin honors his influences from Motown to Chicago to Memphis to the Delta with a disc that not only pays tribute to the past, but looks forward to the future. It’s safe to say that the future is in good hands.


Calling one’s new album, Spirit of The Blues is a heavy thing for a young, up-and-comer blues performer not yet well known in Chicago. Here’s hoping Christian Collin will break through in a sometimes crowded field and help to keep that spirit alive, as well as the blues, for many decades to come.
Chicago based, Christian Collin is a superb singer, songwriter and guitarist who puts his own spin on the Blues on his newly released Spirit of the Blues. This recording is, if nothing else, deserving of a Blues Music Award. I have said repeatedly that a band is only as good as its weakest member…and this band is as strong and tight as bands get. They could compete against the strongest bands in any genre and come out on top. These cats are good! If you are looking for something with flair, finesse and an element of old-school as well as contemporary, Christian Collin would be just the guy to get the job done and done right. For contemporary blues that does not lose touch with hardcore blues that is tried and true, this is the band you are looking for.


Trying to find a unique voice in the blues idiom is not an easy thing. There are hundreds and hundreds of artists who identify with the blues genre and very few of them have anything original to say. It is the same overworked I – IV – V blueprint overlaid with mournful if hardly emotional lyrics and the music simply doesn’t touch you.
But on his second album Spirit of the Blues, Chicago-based musician Christian Collin finally comes to the table with something new, something fresh. His playing is a hybrid of Michael Bloomfield and John Mayall-era Eric Clapton with heavy doses of the original players like Albert King and Buddy Guy. He is a remarkable singer conjuring up shades of Johnny Winter and many of the other greats like Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and T-Bone Walker.
Strumming on a Fender Stratocaster, Telecaster or a Gibson Les Paul, Collin shimmers on the title track and many other cuts here. He has a glassy, arcing vibrato and an approach to note selection that will remind you in the very best way of Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Collin has been playing and singing the blues for decades. He is a profoundly gifted musician and his love and passion for what he’s doing comes out in every note he plays. This is one bluesman you must hear.

‘The Blog Is’ takes a look at Christian Collin’s new release, ‘American Art’

The first time I heard singer-songwriter Christian Collin, I had the privilege to review an album of his back when I wrote for Big City Rhythm & Blues.  As I recall he had been with a band called Molasses but had recently gone solo with his own brand of no-holes-barred electric blues.  It was majestic and contained all the power and glory you want with first class blues rock.  But there was more to it as well.  This must have been at least 10 years ago.  The first time I saw him perform was at a special blues event about five years ago.  His performance was far and away the best of the evening.  Because it was a blues event, Christian pretty much stuck to the blues, but he has much more in his arsenal as well. I sensed he might have been holding back a bit.

         I could not help but hear in his work a certain affinity for the work of the great Johnny Winter.  Since then Collin has branched out into more of a full bore American Music experience, not just the blues.  His new release, American Art, is a real achievement that illustrates the point that this music is still alive and well–and growing.  In 11 new tracks of original music, Christian Collin shows himself to be a major force to be reckoned with.  His time has come.
        Americana, American Music, he’s earned the right to be well within in that tradition.  But I like to call it rock ‘n’ roll.  If that term works for acts as varied as the Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, Government Mule, Johny Winter And, and Robin Trower, just to scratch the surface, I’ll include Christian Collin in that same pantheon. Track 3, “Call Me,” is a case and point.  Short and sweet, it has all the character of a Chuck Berry tune from his hey day, complete with a Berry-inspired classic guitar break.  But the next track, “Satisfaction Guaranteed,” is pure funk with all the brass that style of music requires.  Think gritty tenor sax, trumpet and alto sax, and solid charts with room for full expression.  It has the tightness of James Brown and the broad appeal of, lets say, the Average White Band or Tower of Power.
        There’s a traveling wander lust to many of the tunes.  Track 10, “Way Past Midnight” rocks with a quieter and more contemplative sensibility to it that is not unlike an up-tempo Eric Clapton ballad.  The final track, “The Fire Still Burns,” has a traditional piano playful quaintness to it, that belies the depth of the lyrics.  This is no moon in June music.  It’s filled with the self-reflection you get with a mature artist.  Collin is around 40 and has enough experience under his belt to create 11 meaningful songs. You even get all the lyrics contained in a elegant package with immaculate artwork.  What you get is big life issues, a full heart, and great singing and guitar playing, without a shred of the didactic to weigh it down. It is all universal stuff that will appeal to anybody with discriminating taste who refuses to settle for the ordinary.
George Seedorff
Copyright 2012

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