Bror Gunnar Jansson

Bror Gunnar Jansson
Moan Snake Moan

Normandeep Blues Records

By Georgetown Fats
August 2014

Between bands, agents, PR agents, friends, co-workers, family members, parents looking to start music careers for their progeny, girlfriends of musicians, and people with just inexcusable tastes in music, I receive a lot of blind submissions for reviews. Let’s file Bror Gunnar Jansson under a brand new submission source; friends headed to Europe to tour with the band for the very first time and thankfully, they returned with homework for yours truly.

Bror Gunnar Jansson is a one-man band from Sweden. Somewhere, somehow the land that provides the Swedish Bikini Team (always a favorite in these parts), lingonberries, IKEA, Swedish Meatballs and socialized healthcare comes a far-too-convincing musician with the ability to produce a dark smorgasbord of country music work songs with the deep blues of Mississippi. How a man from Göteborg, Sweden could get his hands on the music to inspire his own baffles me, but I am glad he did.

Moan Snake Moan opens with “The Church Bell’s Tone,” a wonderfully lo-fi guitar riff oozing its way out of the speakers while Bror Gunnar Jansson spits his tenor vocals over some stop time sections. By the time Bror Gunnar Jansson brings ‘the entire band’ together and finds his groove, it is hard not to immediately sway to the primal beat. when Bror Gunnar Jansson’s adds a screaming sax solo to the mix, it is a complete embarrassment of musical riches.

It is hard not to hear the heavy inspiration of Howlin’ Wolf’s “Smokestack Lightnin’” all over Bror Gunnar Jansson’s “Moan Snake Moan Pt I,” but since Gunnar Jansson’s attempt makes an original tune out of an old standard, rather than just fire out another tired Howlin’ Wolf cover, it is a refreshing change.

“William is Back” is not for the faint of heart, or those who suffer from Coulrophobia. This haunting tune immediately raises arm and neck hair. I’m not sure who the hell William is, but this tune is bound to inspire the scores to many horror movies.

Bror Gunnar Jansson kicks the metronome up a few ticks for an inspired shuffle with “Aint No Grave.” The deceptively simple electric guitar groove calls to mind the great John Lee Hooker and is accented by another trashy saxophone line. It is easy to imagine that when performed live, Bror Gunnar Jansson whips the crowd into a dancing frenzy with this tune.

It is hard not to get the same initial feeling experienced with the music of Possessed by Paul James when listening to Bror Gunnar Jansson. While stylistically very different, the ability of such gifted musicians to create a fantastic amalgam of music is proof that if there is a god above, then maybe the Devil’s music is actually that crap spilling out on the corporate radio airwaves.

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