Dorian Sorriaux (FR)

Many young players look to the guitar heroes of the 60s and 70s for inspiration, but very few are able to channel their influences as mesmerisingly as Dorian Sorriaux. When the young French guitarist burst onto the scene with rockers Blues Pills, he displayed an incredible maturity and expressiveness as a musician that was captured on their 2014 self-titled debut. Comparisons with legendary bluesmen Peter Green and Paul Kossoff weren’t hyperbole; you could hear their quality in Dorian’s playing touch. Now, following the success of Blues Pills’ second album Lady In Gold, Dorian Sorriaux is revealing surprising new depths to his talent;  now as a singer / songwriter with his debut solo EP Hungry Ghost. And he’s drawing on another rich seam of inspiration with the golden age of acoustic folk.

Recorded in rural Örebro, Sweden and produced by Dorian’s Blues Pills bandmate Zach Anderson, the psychedelic folk journey of Hungry Ghost’sfour songs may be a pleasant surprise to any Blues Pills listeners used to hearing the guitarist’s expressive leads, but it’s been years in the making for the young musician. Sparked by the discovery of the landmark 1971 acoustic album from one of the all-time great songwriter’s. “When I was 15 I discovered Neil Young’s Live At Massey hall,” Dorian explains. “Then slowly I started listening to more and more folk music.”

The Brittany native’s path of inspiration that followed reads like a who’s who of transatlantic sixties folk with Dorian reeling off a roll call of acoustic heroes including John Martyn, Tim Buckley, Nick Drake, Crosby, Stills and Nash and Bert Jansch. “I love the honesty in their music,” he adds, “because it feels real to me and really personal.” While he hadn’t sung since those formative years after the guitar took over his life, a break in Blues Pills’ touring schedule has provided the ideal opportunity to explore this passion.

It’s easy to hear the influence of Buckley when listening to Hungry Ghost’s ethereal opener Huitoto, and the the confessional, closing Neil Young-esque title track. They reveal the striking talent of a young songwriter who has been hiding in plain sight as a maverick guitarist but is now finally stepping into the light.

This is a record of performances captured purely, just like the golden age of folk that inspired it. The songs were tracked in relaxed sessions with live vocal and guitar takes through a single mic and Dorian joined by two guests; Emelie Sjöström provides vibraphone accompaniment while Blues Pills touring member Rickard Nygren tracked the Fender Rhodes to add to the organic, vintage vibes.

But underneath its mesmerising layers, these are highly personal songs for Dorian. And for the first time he’s exposing his emotions to tape as a lyricist and vocalist. “I try to write as honestly as I can and put a lot of emotion into it,” he acknowledges. “These songs are really personal. I was scared to share them at first, that's how personal they are. But it just feels like a natural step to play them to people now.”

That sense of a musician baring their soul without pretence runs deep in Hungry Ghost; shining through on the lilting Need To Love and shadowed in the haunting haunting arpeggios of closer Hello My Friend, a song that recalls tragic American folk hero Jackson C. Frank. But as it fades out it’s clear Dorian Sorriaux’s solo journey is only just beginning. With shows planned and a debut album later this year, it’s going to be a fascinating one to follow.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE:

www.doriansorriaux.com



 

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