Clear Lake, get ready to rock again at Scout Bar this month for Udo Dirkschneider’s “Farewell to Accept” Tour! The lineup, though featuring German heavy metal legend Dirkschneider, will also showcase some of the best the Houston metal scene has to offer, including Paegan, Serpent Attack, and a band garnering not only local, but international attention with their signature mix of ’60s and ’70s hard rock, metal, and progressive rock.
Blues Funeral, a Houston-based group composed of Jan Kimmel (guitar, vocals, keyboard), Maurice Eggenschwiler (guitar, vocals), Gabe Katz (bass), and Cory Cousins (drums), formed just over two years ago, with most members coming from part of another popular metal band, Sanctus Bellum. However, in 2014, the band went on hiatus, and with ideas to explore and incorporate other musical styles, Blues Funeral was born.
“We had been discussing a more ’70s side project for years with more harmonized vocals, in the style of Cream or Deep Purple,” Kimmel said. “[The band] is attracting a lot of attention because we have a very ’60s and ’70s-oriented sound, but Maurice and I will spend a lot of time on technical elements as well, and a lot of people dig that attention to detail.”
Inspired by the album Blues Obituary from the ’60s British power trio The Groundhogs, this style of music and what it speaks to is very much tied to their band’s name, as well.
“I like the idea of the New Orleans style jazz funeral… We cover a lot of different topics that revolve around personal struggles, relationships, life and death. I think that the idea of a funeral is that you mourn but you celebrate, and we try to cover all of that. So the name comes from a specific place, but it has a lot of symbolism to it,” Kimmel said.
“We have a strong blues undercurrent with a modern tone. Blues Funeral perfectly conveys the sounds that Jan and I are into, from classical to jazz to ’60s and ’70s progressive rock to death and black metal in some cases. It kind of neatly encapsulates all we love in music,” Eggenschwiler added.
This unique sound has already made the band a prominent fixture on the Houston music scene and earned them fans from around the world, particularly after the release of their first album, The Search (2016) (recorded at Lucky Run Studio in Houston). Reviews began to pour in shortly thereafter, including one from the popular underground music news and reviews website The Obelisk.
“[The Obelisk] has a high international readership,” Eggenschwiler explained. “Ever since then, we’ve been corresponding with folks all over the world. On a weekly basis, we are getting emails from Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Brazil, all wanting a physical copy of the album,” he said. Kimmel added that a popular Greek YouTube channel that showcases new metal and hard rock even bootlegged The Search.
“We were actually very pleasantly surprised by that, because this is very much a do-it-yourself effort,” he said, with that particular video having now over 4,500 views.
And with their upcoming show in Clear Lake at Scout Bar, Blues Funeral is looking forward to delivering their music live again to their loyal fans.
“We have some of the best fans in the world. We have people that will fly in from out of town and come straight from the airport or drive an hour and half to see us,” Kimmel said.
“There’s a different dynamic between the live show and the studio album. The music is so attuned to dynamics and that’s one of the biggest things that strikes them. Jan and I take on very different personas onstage. We are very aware of the crowd, but also very engrossed in the music itself. We hope for a show where people will come up and hopefully say, ‘Wow! I can’t believe I just saw that!’” Eggenschwiler added.
“There is no doubt that Udo and the band Accept are extremely influential, and have been [an influence] on bands that everyone has heard of, from Metallica on down,” Kimmel said.
“It’s really cool to be a part of this moment, and this show. [Udo’s tour] has been an insane show every night and has garnered some awesome crowds. We’re really stoked!” Eggenschwiler said.
You can catch Blues Funeral on Saturday, January 28 at Scout Bar for Udo Dirkshneider’s “Farewell to Accept” Tour along with Paegan and Serpent Attack. Tickets range from $27.50 to $65. Doors open at 7 p.m. and show begins at 8 p.m. Be sure to visit Blues Funeral’s at bluesfuneral.bandcamp.com for more information on the band, their music, and upcoming shows!
By Sarah Piña