If you’re familiar with the psychedelic sounds of garage rockin’ four piece White Denim then you’re sure to be rapt with the new solo effort from the snazzy Texan behind those six wailing strings, James Petralli, now known as the strange and slightly mysterious Bop English.
Bop English doesn’t lose his flair as he makes the transition to solo musician with ease. His single Dani’s Blues is an excellent mixture of rock eras and quirky characters.
Born into a family filled with world class baseball players, including a grandfather who played for both the Yankees and White Sox, Petralli’s venture into music was unmethodical, especially to his baseball obsessed father. But after numerous stints in bands around Austin, and being named one of the ‘Most notable guitarists from the next generation’ by Rolling Stone in 2014, English has proven to us all, including his father, that he is capable of producing sounds that are truly rather riveting, and will hopefully be present on his upcoming solo LP Constant Bop.
Dani’s Blues (it was beyond our control) is the first single from the album, and proves to be quite the interesting listen. Starting off with a modern take on some 50s bebop, a selection of piano riffs take up the majority of the first 30 seconds yet are quickly disguised by a strong and funky beat whilst oddly enough some Thin Lizzy style guitar licks, and gleaming vocals, reveal elements of 80s glam rock. This mixture of instruments, eras and effects continue and towards the end of the song English can be heard repetitively singing “Mm Bop Bop” whilst a bout of clapping brings it to a stop.
Upon your first listen, you’ll wonder what the heck it was you just heard but don’t completely write it off, because rest assured you will grow to appreciate its quirky characteristics! After the initial encounter, take it out or put it on at your place, fool around a little bit, take things slow! And by the third or fourth play, you’ll be busting out some crazy ass dance moves that ain’t anybody supposed to see!
A compelling start for Mr English, who in all his obscurity is bringing back the best of the 50s, 60s and most especially 80s grooves, and props to him for not relying on his ‘guitar whizz’ status throughout this track. The question still remains as to whether the rest of Constant Bop will be as nifty as his debut single, but only time, patience, and a decent record player will tell!
Constant Bop is available on April 13th so, be sure to perfect those leg shakin’, baby makin’ dance moves! Or alternatively you can just pre-order a copy of the record via Blood and Biscuits.
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