If you seek some of Europe's finest blues and roots artists, songwriters and guitarists, look no further than Germany's Bad Temper Joe. While honoring the old bluesmen from the Mississippi Delta, Bad Temper Joe brings the blues into the 21st Century – and does so with excellent songwriting, a powerful performance, and staying true to the tradition. With songs as raw as they are haunting, the grumpy blues bard has gained attention in the blues scene over the last few years, receiving numerous nominations for blues awards and winning the German Blues Challenge in 2022. But the German has also already been making waves in the international blues scene, and was the only European Act to reach the finals of the 2020 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee. As the British Blues Matters Magazine put it, “It’s hard to believe that the sounds of the Mississippi-Delta have relocated to Germany, but they have.”
Bad Temper Joe's brand-new album, Glitter & Blues, marks a milestone in his music. The record is shaped by Bad Temper Joe's matured composing. In the album he intensively explores the traditions of blues, country and folk music in the twelve, mostly soft-rhythmic, tracks. While the album shows off Bad Temper Joe’s unique style and one-of-a-kind sound, it remains true to the genre. The blues exudes its charm best when played the way BTJ celebrates it on Glitter & Blues: simple, honest, with a twinkle in his eyes. In dirges like “Fountain of Weakness” the musician translates depression into lyrics and music. “Two Trains (Runnin' Different Ways)” uses the traditional imagery of a rolling train without falling into clichés. The song is a nod to the greats of the blues and Bad Temper Joe's heroes: Muddy Waters, Robert Wilkins, Elizabeth Cotton and Big Bill Broonzy.
Yet despite the blues bard’s namesake grumpiness, Glitter & Blues shows another side of Bad Temper Joesongs that bring a smile not only to the listeners' face, but clearly also to the musician’s. While the songwriter still includes plenty of melancholy in the ballad-like epic “Cold Feet”, songs like the vivid “Pink Panther” and the light-hearted “This Time Last Night” will get listeners’ feet tapping and bodies rocking. The blissful country song “All Over Again” is the catchiest tune of the album. Finally, Bad Temper Joe shows what possibilities the blues form offers – and what power and intensity they contain – with the title track “Glitter & Blues,” which is characterized by his quiet, deep vocals, and the dourly-humorous “If These Walls Could Talk.”