By Dan Williams
Reverence for the blues masters who came before them is what informs the incredible new trio The Blues Reincarnation Project.
Currently based in Newark Delaware, the band is totally immersed in blues legends like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy and BB King. The band features Ryan Gorman on bass/vocals, Charlie Greaves on drums and wunderkind guitar wiz/vocalistic Jeffrey Attakorah up front. Their remarkable new album, A Hint of Blues, hits all the right marks with eight originals that could stand up to anything in the genre.
To think these guys are all around 21 years old tells me that they have a very bright future. Attakorah’s distinctive lead vocals are unique and old school at the same time. He accents certain phrases, most notably in single “Could Have Been Me” with added syllables, like the letter “a” tacked on for color or emphasis. The detail adds nice little grace notes that channel blues great Bobby Blue Bland.
The trio comes from disparate backgrounds. Greaves and Gorman were friends in high school where they dabbled in jazz, rock, steel band, and even punk. Together they form a perfect canvas for Attakorah to stretch out on guitar.
Attakorah’s story is quite different. Born and raised till age 12 in Ghana Africa, he followed his father in emigrating in 1996. As a boy in a new country, he discovered a variety of music from The Jonas Brothers to Disney scores to traditional blues and authentic Ghanian hymns at church. He was fortunate to have received a Les Paul guitar as a gift and soon wore out the frets as he practiced for hours. He now plays a wireless Fender. He was that kid who slept with his guitar. Attakorah played bass in a high school jazz band where he met Greaves and eventually Gorman.
Songwriting has developed into a consistently high-quality level, but Attakorah’s stage presence, charisma, and pure playing ability are far more developed and mature than one would expect from his age. The maturity and humility all three players exhibit is refreshing and will serve them well as they continue to expand their footprint into the greater Philadelphia markets.
Besides “Could Have Been Me” with its traditional plaintive blues structure, look for the crunchy hard driving instrumental “L.I.T.” the sweet mid-tempo shuffle “Show Her Some Love” and the beautiful and spacy acoustic ballad version of “Castaways.”
The album is available on iTunes and other platforms.
“Could Have Been Me:”
(Photos by Dan Williams)