A Few Breezy Words on The Windy City StrugglersBy Elliott Murphy (American singer/songwriter based in Paris - this piece was written introducing the Strugglers to a European audience after they were signed by French label, Last Call)
"I promise you this is not a line" (as the Windy City Strugglers sing in one of their songs) when I tell you about one of the most intriguing and original bands I've heard in ages. For me its deep blues from way down under, as if the Mississippi River had gouged its way through the center of the earth and come home in - New Zealand of all places; where they tell me these boys have played together for more years then they probably care to remember. There is an easily recognizable purity to their musical approach and a respect for tradition in their songs and yet when you put it all together it's like something you've never heard before. Some kind of World Music Blues from the netherworld between dance hall Tom Waits and acoustic Eric Clapton with roots even I can't trace. The guitar picking is elegant and rustic, the slide guitar and harmonica totally authentic and the arrangements sparse and leaving nothing to be desired. And the vocals are so very, very moving (at least to my ears) and as effortless and natural as Van Morrison, even as heartfelt as Bob Dylan in places. Listen to "Snow on the Desert Road" and tell me if you've ever heard anything sung like that before. It evokes a land and a time that can leave you lost between centuries.