Ronn Van Etten explores subtlety in Shades of Blue’s
Musician and bluesman Ronn Van Etten clearly has what it takes to make a competent record. Although undeniably bluesy, Shades of Blue’s isn’t exactly blues like you may be used to. Rather than spinning around the good old 12-bars, Ronn’s tunes incorporate pop arrangements with plenty of jazz-tinged guitar soloing.
The vibe here is smooth and restrained, much the opposite of raucous or excessively emotional. This gives the album an unusual feel that only ones extremely knowledgeable about blues are likely familiar with. If you like Ronn’s musings, you are in for quite a ride, as Shades is a pretty long record with lots of material to dig into.
The production is a little muddy and flat, but crisp enough to get the point across. Overall, Shades of Blue’s is an essential listen for any blues fan, with progressive rock and jazz fusion likers welcome aboard as well. You are bound to discover a bunch of favorites among this massive collection of skillfully-composed tunes.
Horns Up: Pleasant, mellow mood
Horns Down: The production lacks punch