Hailing from the Netherlands, Gerbman (AKA Gerben de Man) renovated the contemporary blues scene with an explosive talent for songcraft. Kicking off his musical career with a pool-themed debut EP (‘In The Pocket’), Gerbman is here to unleash his talent to all blues lovers!
Inspired by the legendary Jimi Hendrix, T-Bone Walker, and Albert King, Gerbman has been making waves in his local community, quickly adhering to the vivacious music scene of Rotterdam’s surrounding areas.
Before I even listened to the album, I was initially intrigued by the consistent theme of pool throughout the EP.
For seven years, Gerbman and his father played pool every single week, and unluckily, Gerbman rarely won. This experience inspired the single ‘Scars’, which then transformed into the fantastic EP we have today!
So, with that being said, let’s look into Gerbman’s debut EP ‘In The Pocket’!
Kicking off his debut EP with the introductory track ‘The Trader’, Gerbman wastes no time in establishing an enthralling foundation through a gorgeous marriage and guitar and drums.
Meandering around one another, the guitar progressions and drumbeats serve as a swash of exhilarating dynamics and glistering rhythms.
Rills of suave guitar have moments of a mad-genius sheen; however, Gerbman knows precisely when to allow other instrumental elements the spotlight.
Considering Gerbman worked on this debut EP on his own, I was astounded at the level of production quality imbued within the track. Gerbman never loses his control over his melodies; every note has been fine-tuned to create a medley of energetic harmonies without feeling out of place.
As for Gerbman’s enriched, full-bodied vocals…the enjoyment of his performance is audible and adds a tinge of buttery smoothness to a rollercoaster of an opening single!
Gerbman’s EP progresses into the next track, ‘Scars’, which immediately hurls the listener into a foot-tapping, head-bopping jam of vibrancy.
The first thing that popped into my head was an image of a bouncing sports bar on a Saturday night, full of lively young individuals who want to let their hair down and party through the night!
Needless to say, the shining star of this track is Gerbman’s galvanic guitar. The guitar progressions in ‘Scars’ sport a zestful tempo and effervescent twang that injects vivid colour into an already rich composition.
Bolstered by a crooning bass and booming drumbeats, Gerbman’s voice exudes a subtle smoothness that resonates with the anecdotal lyrics, painting a perfect picture of his childhood memories when he played pool with his father.
Overall, this song is a nod to personal triumphs, and while this message isn’t addressed subtly, it serves as a great example of Gerbman’s talents.
‘Into the Right Groove’
‘Into the Right Groove’ slows the tempo to an easy-going, leisurely pace, allowing for his hum-like lilt to surface the track.
His crooning vocals compliment the grumbling bassline beautifully, further developing the introspective nature of the lyrics.
For me, the slower tracks within the EP stand out as the best from Gerbman, illuminating his vocal talent more appropriately whilst staying true to the vintage blues aesthetic that his style was born from.
Although his signature guitar playing isn’t as prevalent within this track, I don’t think that is necessarily a bad thing. Gerbman’s talent with a guitar is undeniable; however, it was a delight to see Gerbman’s vocal delivery act as the crowning jewel of his instrumentation.
Speaking of instrumentation, Gerbman’s guitar displays a perfect dichotomy of balletic softness and near-snarling unabashedness.
While I appreciate the punchy drumbeats and the slowed rhythm, I would like to see a little more of Gerbman’s originality. It’s easy to determine Gerbman’s influences, but I would like to see more of what makes Gerbman the performer that he is/will be.
‘Write Your Own Story’
The final track of the album is easily my personal favourite.
This track is another example of Gerbman’s slower style; however, the difference between ‘Write Your Own Story’ and ‘Into the Right Groove’ is that the instrumentation immediately develops a charming degree of lustre.
The harmonious unity between the romantic guitar progressions and the mellow timbre of the drums is simply addictive. The transition between the guitar’s dreamlike haze to Gerbman’s signature twang-filled rivulet is effortless and exhibits Gerbman’s penchant for polish.
For me, having already heard Gerbman’s vocal abilities in the previous track, the elements of ‘talk-singing’ don’t completely fit within this song. The contrast between the smoothness of the instrumentals and the firmness of Gerbman’s vocals is quite jarring – I would’ve loved to have heard his crooning voice during this track.
Alas, the diminuendo of the track is gorgeous, featuring the gorgeous dalliance of instrumentals once more, fading into a gentle silence that soothes the mind.
Gerbman is a multifaceted virtuoso who entered the evocative world of blues at the young age of nine!
Lending his ear to the undeniable talents of guitarists John Frusciante (Red Hot Chilli Peppers) and Stevie Ray Vaughan, Gerbman quickly realised a love for his guitar.
After having daily lessons, both to refine his vocals and playing abilities, Gerbman is dedicated to honing his songcraft, making him a budding star to watch out for.
Overall, I think with some experimentation and lyrical refinement, Gerbman can be a huge success!
‘In the Pocket’ is out now on all major platforms!