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Levee Dwellers: Levelling Up

Dutch Delta blues band, big on effort, low on inspiration.

Levee Dwellers optimistically draw a parallel between their own Dutch musical heritage and the Mississippi Delta. They cross over from blues into soul, funk and jazzy improvisations to evoke a downriver trip to New Orleans, but these are fleeting moments on a workmanlike album.

Vocalist Daniella Eerhart’s confident phrasing brings presence to both Cut You Loose and* Tell Me More*, though she’s closer to a jazz singer than a blues shouter and as a result the band sound a shade too earnest. Guitarist Stefan Soares adds steely licks on Kick It Around, Jeroen Heeselaars’ sinuous tenor sax swings on Boogie You Down and organist Leon den Engelsen fattens out The Empress Of Big Willy’s. You’d like to think there’s always room for a decent club band with a penchant for genre swapping, but while Levelling Up has plenty of endeavour, there’s too little spark here.