Blues with a Feelin’: John Strahl Band at the Slippery Noodle Inn

Back to Basics Blues Group the John Strahl Band Plays the Slippery Noodle Inn on December 27th.

Believe it or not, Indianapolis has a tradition of blues music going back nearly a century. Of course, since Indiana has close cultural ties to the South, you can’t say this is totally unexpected. And nowhere is this tradition better kept than the Slippery Noodle Inn. One cannot reiterate enough that the institution of which we are all so fond has operated continuously since the 1850s. This, of course, makes it a perfect place to feature artists like John Strahl and his band. Who will play the Slippery Noodle Inn on the 27th.

A Brief History

 Strahl initially became interested in the blues when he after seeing Stevie Ray Vaughn on an episode of Austin City Limits. As Vaughn was one of the greatest blues talents of the last 40 years, it’s only natural that Strahl would feel so inspired. He bent himself to mastering the guitar and vocal techniques of the blues. It paid off. In 2012, Strahl recorded and released a six song EP, Can’t Look Back. While a minor success in its own right, what really put Strahl and his band on the map was their LP released in 2014. The Ladder (no relation to the combat drug from Jacob’s Ladder) was a hit with critics around Indy. Since then, the John Strahl Band has continued to play locally.

Their Sound

Like many modern blues artists, John Strahl freely draws on various regional traditions. The resulting sound is, of course, and amalgamation. But besides a blend of Texas, Chicago, and Mississippi Delta blues, there are a fair few other influences as well. One can, for example, detect a lot of Hendrix in Strahl’s use of amplifier effects and playing technique.

In performance, it is not Strahl’s guitar that is the main focus, but his voice. A low yet plaintive growl that lends emotional credence to his material. While there’s plenty of guitar riffs to keep the audience hooked in, Strahl’s voice is the real star of the show. This creates an effect similar to artists like Howlin’ Wolf, who similarly made their voices the focus of their music.

So, as always. The venue is the Slippery Noodle Inn. Door’s at 8:30. No cover.

See you there!


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