Eric Caudron and Carmine Ghersi have made so many gigs together with various dance bands, they once decided to have their own band. They called it Sunblood, this name comes from a mountain in the Northwest Territories in Canada near the Nahanni River: "At sunset, it seems the sun is bleeding on the mountain". No need to discuss what kind of music they had to play, it was evident for both: a punchy blues-rock leaving space for technical extravaganzas these two musicians are capable of. For their very first concert, there were just a few original songs but the success was there, isn't it the best way to force them to have their own repertoire? Then, everything has grown fast: concerts, CD and radios…
The first thing you'll notice when listening to Sunblood is the incredible instrument maestria of the band members, they can mix a total freedom for their part with a strong cohesion together. A very uncommon quality! Eric's drumming gives a powerful and solid rhythm, it's the train that picks you up. Various bass players have played with Sunblood but all have always give a firm foundation with deep and punchy notes, like roots where one can always count on and come back when needed. For a few years, Rico Raja plays the bass giving Sunblood another melodic aspect but still with a deep rhythm. Thus, the band can go to the limits of what the music could be without being lost. For almost every tune, Carmine's guitar starts giving the mood, make the train run at its cruise and then it goes flying around that rhythm for an unforgettable experience. And the voice of Carmine is always strong and powerful, finding its own way to display emotional subtleties.
Some bands think the music is more important than the technical ability to play an instrument but both are indissociable. Yes, how can it be possible to play freely when one is unable to express himself, just because his hand are not able to follow his mind? This has absolutely never happened with Sunblood, those musicians have always found the road to go where they wanted, wherever it was! Their homogeneousness is no secret: everyone follows his own ideas whilst listening carefully to the others, adaptating his playing and being fed by what the others are doing. Of course, the tunes are structured and follow some rules, but if a new idea comes, everybody is quick to react and put a new stone on top to build that edifice. Rehearsals are not made to set the tunes forever but to define room for playing freedom. Let's leave that word Eric once told to Carmine while the latter was talking about a 2 beat measure in the middle of a 4 beat song: Don't bother me with that, you'd better play it…
From Where The Sun Now Stands…
… I'll play the blues forever! That is a sentence, it is arranged from the surrender speech of Chief Joseph, the leader of the Nez Perces Indian tribe. This speech has also given Carmine the roots for the song Trail of Tears you can find on the CD. With this CD, Sunblood members have made a choice: to remain true and to capture the magic happening during the concerts. It's raw rock, no overdub added to make it smoother, it's just pure energy. You can find only modest acoustic guitar parts on the two last songs. Sunblood is a Power Rock Trio and it assumes it!
Starting with the first tune, Johnny Red Knife, you got the mood: a very strong drum rhythm and a guitar intro played by Carmine with two hand tapping technique, both hands playing on the fretboard! It's fast and will remain fast until the end of the track. Changing has a steadier beat and gives you the desire to dance. Trail of Tears is based of Chief Joseph surrender speech, this tune re-create the atmosphere you can find at pow wows, more than a tune, it is an homage and it has been one of the song which made Sunblood famous. Call of the Wild is another steady rhythm song, it features Carmine playing slide guitar. The spirit of the blues is audible all along the tracks but a true slow blues was a must, it has a name, it's called Fate. Chemical Heaven pure rock! Good Morning Blues, or the legendary Leadbelly revisited, a strong blues just as we love it! With Frontier Man, Sunblood shows another side of their talent, the rock marries with a groove, still keeping the mind of Rock. The next tune, Warfare, lets you hear some incredible sounds made by Carmine with just a guitar and an amp. Astonishing! Medicine Rock, it's the proof that simplicity can be a high quality! No use to introduce After Blood & Thunder, and no words will ever describe what you can feel when listening to this instrumental. The last song of the CD is Back in Liberty Street, a stunning acoustic guitar beginning and then a strong rhythm, a punchy tune made out of solid rock.
You can listen to a radio program dedicated to Sunblood by clicking on the button below, it was performed by Laurent Lavige for France Inter. Sorry, it is in french...
Unreleased songs of Sunblood recorded live in the Studio
- Route 66
- Let me spend my hottest night
- Stormy Monday
- Good Morning Blues
- I wanna be loved
- Medicine Wheel
- Sweet Home Chicago
- Johnny B Goode