Elessar Thiessen, a Canadian newcomer to the jazz and blues world, is taking said world by storm with his debut album, A Rainy Week in Paradise, released in June. With smooth, Sam Smith-style vocals, a guitar style which rivals Kenny Wayne Shepherd and a heady blues/folk fusion style, Thiessen is poised to be the next great thing to hit vintage blues and folk throwback style.
“You Girl” is the most bluesy of the songs on A Rainy Week in Paradise, with a style reminiscent of Stevie Ray Vaughn’s. A slow, meandering bassline gives heft to Thiessen’s raspy yet relatively high voice, and he is careful not to overdo the guitar work when he is singing. This is not to say his guitar work isn’t great; his solo on this track is soulful and artfully played, and when the vocals are not on it does an excellent job of creating that rainy day blues feeling one would expect from just such a track.
A bonus on “You Girl” is the addition of fellow Winnipegian, Alexa Dirks whose fiery vocal section and duet with Thiessen takes this vintage blues track to a level which would rival any current indie blues artist. Brittany Howard of the Alabama Shakes may come to mind but no matter what she sounds like, Dirks adds some serious punch to this classic-sounding song.
Elissar Thiessen, with his strong technique, soulful voice and dreamy folk/blues songwriting is something unexpected and interesting out of Winnipeg. He has the potential to put this mid-sized Central Canada town not oft known for blues on the map with A Rainy Week in Paradise and his follow-up work, which he is already composing. The album is available to stream in its entirety on Thiessen’s Soundcloud page and can be purchased on iTunes.
Written by Layla Marino
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