Robert Keßler – guitar
Andreas Henze – double bass
Tobias Backhaus – drums
Bloodline – that means something like family tree. Every artist must honestly decide for himself to whom he feels obliged and why. To himself and thus to those who can identify with his statements, or to external factors such as media expectations, zeitgeist or a canon. Guitarist Robert Keßler has made a very clear decision, and his album “Bloodline” bears witness to this step.
“Bloodline” is not a concept album, and yet the CD follows a very clear concept. This concept is called life. Not some imaginary life or life itself, but Robert Keßler’s very personal balance sheet of the last ten years. His role as a family father, patient friend and selfless coach for countless young musicians as well as all the other factors that put his own musical ambitions on the back burner for long stretches. “It wasn’t a matter of just focusing on myself,” Keßler holds. “That’s rather difficult for me. That’s why this record comes ten years after the last one. In the past years, it was not my turn, but that of children, students and other people.” He is a quiet as well as alert observer of his surroundings and also of his own reflection. In the end, we come face to face with a musician with the rare gift of knowing himself. Robert Keßler does not define himself by his conflicts, but is – at least outwardly – a pragmatist of everyday poetry. Amusement and pensiveness are the essential personal ingredients with which he gives his pieces their special flair.
On “Bloodline”, Keßler is supported by two musicians with whom he has a lot of personal ties. Keßler has been friends with drummer Tobias Backhaus since he was a student. Every time he stands on stage with the drummer, he is impressed anew by what Backhaus discovers in the music and then makes out of it. For the guitarist, Andreas Henze is the Berlin bassist with the most beautiful solo tone. Where you switch off with other bassists, you especially enjoy listening to him, Keßler jubilates. Even with his two accompanists, who are rather co-conspirators than sidemen in the usual sense, it is the special combination of human empathy and musical brilliance that recommends them for playing together with Robert Keßler.
For many reasons, “Bloodline” is the ideal sluice through which to find peace for the end of the day after a long day at work, the pilot ship that takes us over the shoals of everyday life, the magic formula that postulates the I in the we and the we in the I. For Keßler himself, the CD is an oasis in the madness of daily temptations and a piece of refuge. Last but not least, “Bloodline” is an enchanting story that, in the best moments, seems to listen to us more than it tells us.