Two years after his debut album “Down to the Delta”, the guitarist, singer and songwriter from Bad Bergzabern in the Palatinate region of Germany has released the follow-up “Travellin'”. He has more than 20 years of live experience under his belt, even outside of blues clubs – during this time he was a sideman for Kathy Kelly (Kelly Family), Chris Norman (Smokie) and the German boy band Bed & Breakfast, among others.
As with the current live work of his trio, Gross is also excellently supported by his rhythm team Michael Siegwart (drums) and Frowin Ickler (bass) on the recordings for “Travellin'”, plus an XL-sized guest list, with Markus Lauer’s strong presence on the Hammond B3 work being conspicuous.
In the ingredients Gross uses the variety of the prevailing blues styles without generally reinventing anything – “In the skillet” reminds funky spiced and coldly served of Albert Collins, “The Letter” comes in the New Orleans groove of Little Feat and in “Lovesick” shimmers through S.R. Vaughan. Positively surprisingly, the uptempo swing number “Swing and sing”, played jazzy with the volume control turned down, appears and towards the end of the disc the rather rocky environment is exchanged for entry into the country blues department on the CD’s title track and “Stranger Pt 2” (offered here as a bluesy alternative to the electric version also available on the CD).
First-class strong and freshly produced second album of the South German with a huge portion of blues in rock.