Midnight Call of the Blues with
Fran McGillivray Band
A new release from Fran McGillivray Band is always a welcome way to bring in a New Year, Midnight Call is just the album to sit and chill out with as the winter grinds it’s relentless mix of cold and bleak days. The eleven tracks break the January blues, with a mix of blues that blow a gentle breeze of musical hope. Ten tracks written by McGillivray and Burke with the last track closing out the album returning to the roots of the blues with Robert Johnson’s Walkin’ Blues.
The trio craft a sound that is easy on the ear and fills the speakers with the waterfall of textures that gradually builds and the melody harmonises perfectly with Fran’s vocal tones. Opening with Hard Workin Woman, the album sets down a marker. This is country blues with an edge to the lyrics, percussion from Roger Nunn that steps out the beat and Mike Burke’s guitar adds a sting to the hard-working vibe of the track. Four tracks in and I Gotta Know, by now the listener will feel they have got to know the band style and friendly approach to the blues very well. Fran’s vocals have a gentle caress as she questions I Gotta Know, there is a sadness, and the instrumentation reflects this with a country feel. This is music that will always please as the styles of acoustic all, shaken and stirred so that you are caressed with a whisper of the blues. The beat picks up with When When When, which makes a compelling sound. The title track has a Hawaiian guitar backdrop that augments the simple beauty of the rootsy vocals delivered by Fran. The empathy between the musicians shines through they have an innate understanding of the sound they are creating and how the layers of sound interact with each other. There is nothing harsh or jarring as the music washes over you, connecting to your music soul and acts as a healing caress. Every note is considered, every pause, breathe upping the tempo has been taken into consideration ensuring that every song works on its own or part of the album Midnight Call. Without the collective skill of Fran, Mike and Roger the album could have been whimsical and saccharin sweet. It is not it is a music that weaves together textures and wraps emotions of lost, hurt and loneliness into a cocoon of safety.
As the last wistful phrasing of Missed My Chance fades away, the tempo changes with a sultry jazz infused number that takes you to a smoke filled bar full of prohibition gin as we shake hands with Mister Blue. Closing out with Walkin’ Blues the context of the album is pulled together, blues is the dominant driving force from the hot countryside of the Southern States.
The skilful delivery of the eleven tracks, should not be a surprise to anyone as the trio are founder members of the legendary urban blues outfit; So Long Angel. As, Midnight Call of the Blues with the Fran McGillivray Band, you know this is an album that will be visited often with pure enjoyment of blues that are both simple and complex.
EIGHT doodle paws out of TEN ….
- Hard Working Woman
- Love and Regret
- Blood On Your Hands
- I Gotta Know
- When When When
- Midnight Call
- Missed My Chance With You
- Mister Blues
- End of the Road
- Get Back To Love
- Walkin Blues