Dan Bubien New Album Keeps Grinding These Gears

Dan Bubien New Album Keeps Grinding These Gears

Dan Bubien New Album Keeps Grinding These Gears

Following a debut album can take time, three years has passed since Dan Bubien’s debut Empty Roads. Choosing to self-produce again, Grinding Those Gears is a rootsy fueled album of Ten original songs. The album has an easy listening traditional feel with the tracks seamlessly flowing with changes of tempo never grinding on your ear.

Opening with Palest Rider, the wide open spaces of a cowboy painted across the opening guitar chords and relentless drumming. The music expands with key and vocals and the undercurrent of blues structure the emotional feeling runs through the vocal delivery and underpinned by the music. The closing track, The Struggle Is Real pulls the albums exploration of roots together with an industrial sound that evokes the Chain-gang blues of the past. The bass drum once again used again to powerful effect by Andy Taravella a constant tour-de-Force throughout the album.

The title track picks up the beat, with the driving force of melodic rock, the piano from Joe Munroe makes the track pop with an energy fueling the guitar to rock. The fine solo from Eddie Manion’s saxophone sets this as a track that rocks at a different level to many. Three tracks in and the Grinding Gears take us in a different direction now we have soulful Dan with a hint of blue we are in the heart of Detroit with his vocals full of yearning. The chorus picks up the mellow tones that cuddle your souls and soothes the tired spirit with Forever Yours

The album is a journey that never grinds the gears of musicality. The slide guitar used to great effect for a stripped back number Dark Hearted Woman. The underlying tone is Soul but the stamp of Bubien’s guitar and vocals make this darker number explore misery.

The opening of Second Hand Man makes you think another soulful track, but no we have some funky beats added to this up-tempo number full of horns and widens your horizons.

Blues comes in many colours and forms, the whole album dips into the blues of many shades. Memphis Murder Blues goes deep into Texas. We can boogie the night away, tap our feet as the blues deepen and we sit back a listen with delight as he bends the genre with honkie tonk and a relentlessly driving rhythm. The penultimate Coming Clean is a mix of sultry, emotional vocals and keys from Joe Munroe once again adding a royal blue texture. The album never grinds, perhaps never quite sets you on fire the promise of his full potential is yet to come from Dan a fine singer and songwriter.

The cover is industrial grey, with Dan Bubien’s name in muted beige. He looks lonely, thoughtful sitting on a bench. He should never be lonely but a musician with his band in high demand, way beyond the borders of his native Pennsylvania. Dan has no need to be pensive he has surrounded himself with fine musicians, powerful songs, and the album has a real listenability.

Dan Bubien – Grinding Those Gears – Dan Bubien Music

Bluesdoodles gives this CD SEVEN pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. Palest Rider
  2. Grinding Those Gears
  3. Forever Yours
  4. Vagabond
  5. Dark Hearted Woman
  6. Second Hand Man
  7. Memphis Murder Blues
  8. I will Take Care Of You
  9. Coming Clean
  10. The Struggle Is Real

Hoka Epic Journey for Nahko and His Music

Hoka Epic Journey for Nahko and His Music

Hoka Epic Journey for Nahko and His Music

 

 

Hoka is an epic Journey from Nahko and Medicine for The People. The album is complex diverse full of intrigue and interest it is an eighteen track epic musical voyage of discovery combining rock, pop, world music and spiritual chants. It is not surprising that Hoka has a feeling of a voyage of discovery and journey of finding self in a complex world since Nahko’s back story explains this spiritual wandering, the incessant searching for texture to the beat on many of the tracks. He was adopted by a white middle-class American couple as a baby, learning the piano and always respecting music. Then disillusionment set in, captivated by vagabond life and the story-telling tradition of Americana musicians he left home in search of adventure and self-discovery. He had in his arsenal stories, guitar, determination and a gritty desire to bridge the cultural gaps dividing his own psyche. The track All Can Be Done encapsulates the drive with horns, dancing carnival instrumental chorus and piano, an anthem for shaping all our destinies. Via the internet he found his mother learning his true ethnicity of Puerto Rican, Native American (Apache) and Filipino descent. His self-branded ‘real talk music’ is the result of the personal journey of healing and acceptance that followed.

The video released with the album of San Quentin is the forgiving the man responsible off murdering his biological father. A surprisingly upbeat number full of positive energy and freedom of thought and letting go in the process of forgiving. Nahko ventured on the visit so he could get some closure after spending the majority of his life unravelling the truth of his childhood. With his father murdered and his mother forced into human trafficking.

Nahko’s story is immense. The album opens with the title track; Hoka. The Native American chanting and spoken vocals give the start of the journey context and shape. And as for the album title? “Hoka is a Lakota word, it is a call to action. It’s what Crazy Horse would say when he went into battle, ‘Hoka, hey!’ My call is to put action to the words that I speak and the lyrics I sing. Not just to talk, but to do.”
Then we are into a piano intro and his distinctive emotionally charged vocals with Directions and so the album journey begins. Everyone will have a track that deeply affects them, personal favourites. What the album is not is a dirge of self-pity and misery; it is finding yourself and accepting who you are. The musicianship is eclectic and at times fiery but always bedded in western tradition of music for folk with a story/purpose. Intertwined in traditional cadences is a mix of hip-hop and rock beats. Joining Nahko are Chase Makai (lead guitarist), Justin Chittams (drums), Pato (bass guitar), Max Ribner (horns) and Tim Snider (violin).

The album Hoka is full of texture and tonal interest and is medicine for the people. Stand out tracks for me are Love Letters To God with the clapping beat and horns you are drawn into the lyrics. Who can resist a track called Tus Pies, a stripped down acoustic number. Inspired by Chilean poet and politician Pablo Neruda. “It’s about friendship and being an anchor for someone. ‘Pies’ is the Spanish word for ‘feet.’ At the end of one of his poems, Neruda says a line I cherish: ‘I love your feet for how they walked on the mountains and through the rivers and through the valleys until they found me.’ Closing with The Wolves Have Returned a lyrical number celebrating nature, the power of nation and the need to find ones-self and tread gently as we journey across the planet.

Nahko has successfully weaved a tapestry of sound, reinforced by lyrics that have something to say. This is music for our times celebrating diversity, celebrating the planet and how we need to nurture each other and look after this fragile world and its complex relationships.

Nahko and Medicine for The People, have much to say and the journey is long, the album works as there is light and shade a musical exploration of emotions and hurts unraveled and put back together a vocal novel or film. Hako has validity giving Nahko’s life experiences and place to be heard.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD EIGHT pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Nahko and Medicine for The People – Hoka- SideOneDummy Records
–  Out 10th June 2016

Track Listing 

  1. Hoka
  2. Directions (feat. Joseph)
  3. It Is Written
  4. All Can Be Done
  5. San Quentin
  6. Two Wolves
  7. Great Spirit
  8. We Are On Time
  9. Love Letters To God
  10. Heart Forward
  11. Tus Pies (Your Feet)
  12. Backbone
  13. Ku Kia’I Mauna (fest. HAwane & Pua Case)
  14. Build A Bridge
  15. Make A Change (feat Zella Day)
  16. Give A little, Get A Little
  17. Runner
  18. The Wolves Have Return

With One Eye Open – Swampgrass Will Get You Wide Awake

With One Eye Open – Swampgrass Will Get You Wide Awake

With One Eye Open – Swampgrass Will Get You Wide Awake

The album switches on the blues monitor. British music from the wetlands of Somerset the swampy feel is warm and damp. Swampgrass is blues with a hint of Somerset Rock. Fueled by the power of Sharon Honeywell. As a debut album One Eye Open releases the energy and Swampgrass vibe.
The ten tracks are a demonstration of the sound Swampgrass has twisted around their arrangements giving rise to a distinctive sound.

The groove is deep from the off with bassist Andy Barnet and the syncopated drive from Dru Frank’s drumming. The guitar work throughout is British R n’B; and the link that holds the soul of the music together is the vocals from Sharon who tells the tale opening with Roadside Soul. Following on with a rocking title track the harp on this track has its place, the speed is frenetic from the beginning they are determined that you will be energized to stomp your feet and even get up and dance in your sitting room as you listen to the album.

The vocals are clearer and less swampy on Grandad Frank and the musicianship acts like an underscoring of the story that grinds out as the track builds. The tracks have a tendency to have the same deep groove then you get a track that has a fun rhythm as Heart Attack swells from the speakers. Closing with a piano fueled number that shows at last a different side to Sharon’s vocals this is a closing song that makes you think you will listen again and look out for when Swampgrass are touring.

The tracks that for me worked best were the trio in the middle Six Feet Deep, Get Me Goin’ and My Own Fool. One Eye Open, at times lacks finesse and textural changes, a slower number where the vocals are quieter and Brad and his guitar for instance plays blues that Sharon follows. Her voice has power and a depth of tone that needs some shading to give this album the standout quality that the band promises they can deliver. This is a debut and puts Swampgrass on a good leaping board to be heard further afield; the sax solo was searing and given the space in the song to explore the melody.

As a debut album Swampgrass show promise to be a festival and gig favourite on the British Blues circuit. For me like many debut’s the mixing just missed the mark, guitar from Brad could have had more moments and the harp just didn’t work or a chord too many on some of the tracks. Yes Swampgrass’ focal point will always be Sharon Honeywell’s voice that pours out a swampy, passionate lyrical tale.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD SEVEN pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

 

One Eye Open – Swampgrass – Independent

Track Listing

1. Roadside Soul
2. One Eye Open
3. Hell No
4. Grandad Frank
5. Six Feet Deep
6. Got Me Goin’
7. My Own Fool
8. Providence
9. Heart Attack
10. Little Things

Wink At July sings Rachel Garlin

Wink At July sings Rachel Garlin

Wink At July sings Rachel Garlin

 

 

Wink At July sings Rachel Garlin on this a stylish singer/songwriter album. The tales are told with humour, sadness and a freshness – the energy is from the pure delight Rachel imports into every track. Rachel is based in San Fransico, Wink at July her fifth tuneful album makes the sun shine what every the weather.

Wink at July a journey both physically and lyrically on a perfect summer holiday. Taking the listener from the Berkeley Hills to the Isles of Scotland (her mother’s homeland) via the poetry of Gwendolyn Brooks, the first African-American who was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1950; Keith Haring’s graffiti and the artist studio. The twelve songs are mini novellas the stories are intricate and full of expressive imagery, the album is artistry.

Opening with Gewndolyn Said, with the beat of a drum the album starts and then the voice that is the core of the album and guitar accompaniment. The instrumentation acts as punctuation, the shading for the lyrics and what did Gwendolyn say, “We put the playground behind us, Pushed the envelope back into our binder” and so much more from her poem Annie Allen. The late New York graffiti artist is celebrated in Hey Keith Haring and celebrates the artform, “You Kept a Sharpie in your pack, You gave graffiti love and gave graffiti love back”. A mini portrait of his life in New York frozen in just under four minutes.

My two standout tracks are The Sea You See is a delicate plucked number. A celebration of family and lineage she is passing on to her daughter. It is a tribute to everyone who leaves their homeland and roots to emigrate as her mother did. It is about chance, changing plans and the loss of not being able to see other people’s experiences and memories from far away.  Dear Friend is a strong song. It is a heartfelt open letter about friendship over a distance. Rachel picks and turns over with a gentleness, non-judgemental understanding of vulnerabilities, the journey we all take in our lives.

Throughout this sophisticated album the instrumentation weaves itself with empathy around the clever words stirring up a myriad of feelings and emotions. The mix is used with care whether it is Harmonium, accordion, piano or the refined acoustic guitar chords. They are the perfect soundscape for the journey Rachel is taking us on with her skills as a wordsmith and singer. Wink At July sings Rachel Garlin, the closing track of the album with a darker tone and a calmness as “The whole World Stopped To look at The Sky”. There is a mystery throughout reflecting memories of the first moonwalk fading with “I look at the sky in layers of maroon..”

Rachel Garlin wraps the listener around in a cocoon of colour, textures and a soundscape and stories that captivate your soul.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD EIGHT pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….


Rachel Garlin – Wink at July – Buy HERE

Track Listing

  1. Gwendolyn Said
  2. Accordion Song
  3. Hey Keith Haring
  4. This Winding road
  5. The Sea You See
  6. Colorado Rain
  7. Up On a Ladder in Boots
  8. Flying Together
  9. Spin
  10. Stranded
  11. Dear Friend
  12. Wink At July

Believe has Rebecca Downes Singing the Blues

RD_Believe_Cover

Believe has Rebecca Downes Singing the Blues

 

 

 

The sophomore album is never easy. Following on from Back To The Start meant Rebecca and her band had to jump higher. Believe has Rebecca Downes singing the Blues and so much more this is a game changer. Rebecca and her band believe in the music they just want to play for you. This is contemporary Blues pulling in strands of jazz, soul and gentle rock weaving them into a tapestry of musical pleasure.
Rebecca’s voice scorches through the instrumentation that adds a layer of sound for her vocals to work with exploring emotional tone and textures as on the opening song Never Gonna Learn. I know that Rebecca is learning, developing her style and growing in confidence the title of the album is a reflection that Rebecca believes in her abilities and the prowess of her band. As Rebecca says “The album title represents the belief that I have needed to get this far and the belief we now have in the quality of our music and our live performances. 2015 allowed us to measure ourselves against some of the best around and we believe we made our own mark.
With the swish of blues guitar the mood is created for Sailing On A Pool Of Tears as the tempo quietens, her voice takes on the coating of hurt and despair as she sings the lyrics we are pulled into the darker side of love. Half way through and piano and vocal duet on 1000 Years sounds fine. This combination suits her voice and has an intimacy that then opens up as the band joins the party.
The beat changes with blues harp joining in on the sultry number as her vocals curl around Long Long Time, the power is in the sustain and then letting the instrumentation pick up the beat and carry the tune forward. With lap steel and piano the mood changes the fire is tempered and we are back with the intimate Rebecca.
As we head to the last four tracks we are treated with the mischievous Mommas Gotta Gun, gravelly and low down the scale Rebecca shows another facet to the jewels in the box of Rebecca Downes’ Believe. The dance rhythm of Salt Winds has the feet tapping and the ear mesmerised with the glorious vocals on another standout track. The title track is left until last with another musical feature with a swampy southern sound bring Believe to a close a second album that will definitely get Rebecca Downes noticed for all the right reasons.
Believe the follow-up album to Back To The Start combined with the power of her stage shows proves that Rebecca is on the up carving the bluestones out of the road to stardom. Believe Written by Rebecca with co-writer Steve Birkett and the production by Mark V Stuart (Magnum etc,) has hit the right note. The album does that crossing genres and with tempos and beats that will appeal far beyond the confines of blues clubs and blues aficionados.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD EIGHT pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Believe has Rebecca Downes Singing the Blues

 

 

Available for pre-order HERE

 

Track Listing

1. Never Gonna Learn
2. Night Train
3. It’s That Easy
4. Sailing On A Pool Of Tears
5. Sweetness
6. 1000 Years
7. Could Not Say No
8. Long Long Time
9. Momma’s Got A Gun
10. Salt Winds
11. Come With Me Baby
12. Believe

Time Has Definitely Come for Ben Poole

Time Has Definitely Come for Ben Poole

Time Has Definitely Come for Ben Poole

 

 

Ben Poole is a guitarist who has been on the radar of many within the U.K./European Blues circuit for a while with his fan base loyal and growing. His latest album out on Manhaton Records on 1st April is no April’s Fools, it is the piece of the jigsaw that will raise Ben’s authority as a great guitarist. Yes – Time Has Come for Ben Poole.

The guitar is thrilling, from the beginning and like any opening track Lying To Me hooks you into the blues ambiance that will get you excited and want to hear more of what this exciting guitarist has to offer over the next ten tracks. Does it disappoint… No it does not opening with feisty power the tone builds the layers thicken and the turmoil of love seeps through the DNA of Time Has Come.

As Ben says “This album has a really nice overview of my style”. Ben’s style may be drenched in the blues but not drowning in the genre. Into the mix across the album is rock, soul and then the spicy twist of funk and soul. Time Has Come has a universal appeal with its depth of flavor and musical reach.  The addition of three wonderful guitarist that understand contemporary blues Aynsley Lister, Todd Sharpville and Henrik Freischlader,  and then the organ chords  courtesy of Dutchman Bob Fridzema adding a raw edge plus those instantly recognisable backing vocals of Stevie Nimmo this is a ten track phenomenon.  This addition of four blues giants adds to the depth of tone and shape making this studio album stand out and yet still retaining the integrity of Ben’s live performance. The rhythm section throughout is the perfect stable and deep platform of sound whichever combination. On the majority of tracks Wayne Proctor and bassist Steve Amadeo or on two songs from Ben’s band bassist Matt Beable and Craig  Bacon’s drumming.

Three tracks in and there is a change of direction a laid back, gentler number Longing For A Woman with the  inspired combination of acoustic delicacy and electric fire. This is a track where once again guitars are given their freedom to soar. Blues that is free like the clearest of clear blue sky, the horizon is pure and open and the heart of blues guitar can fly.

Ben’s vocals throughout grind out sometimes gently other times full of hope and hurt the emotional turmoil of love. They bring expressive intelligence to the lyrics as Ben shares his experiences of love from deep within his heart and soul. BUT it is the emotion in the six-strings that really shape, bend and tear at your heart-strings creating a deep electric blues vibe.

Half way through and the antonym to the title Time Might Never Come appears and forms part of his live act and always pleases. This rendition has a new expressive feel the drums pound out the undercurrents and Time Might Never Come is explored. The vocals and long chords from the organ are filled with anguish of loneliness as Ben sings “tomorrow will be to late… Time Might Never Come”. The guitar lead break is bitter sweet and churns around your emotional mood; once again on this album it is Ben’s personal connection with the listener that adds a deeply personal touch.  No wonder Ben has been dubbed as f*cking amazing by Jeff Beck with the spell-binding lead breaks throughout the album.

There are lighter moments on the album Stay At Mine and Just When You Thought it was Safe with an up-tempo beat that makes the feet tap and the guitar tone lightens and shapes the musical journey.  Closing with Question Why the blues is full on and sweet. There certainly is no Question Why, the Time Has Come for Ben Poole.

The time has definitely arrived for Ben Poole. His guitar playing and lyrics have gained a self-determination thanks to Andy Banfield’s skilled engineering and the production vision of Wayne Proctor (King King’s Drummer) and into the mixing Steve Wright. They have combined to unfetter Ben’s inhibitions and capture the essence of this young man’s power as a blues guitarist extraordinaire.  Superfly have captured, distilled and shaped the substance that is Ben live in a studio setting.  Superfly Studios, have unleashed a blues guitarist of monstrous proportions whose time has truly come.

 

Currently On tour with Stevie Nimmo – dates below.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD TEN pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….
Ben Poole Time Has Come Manhaton Records Release Date 1st April

Track Listing

  1. Lying To Me
  2. I Think I Love You Too Much
  3. Longing For A Woman
  4. If You Want To Play With My Heart
  5. Time Might Never Come
  6. Stay At Mine
  7. You’ve Changed
  8. Just When You Thought It Was Safe
  9. Whoever Invented Love
  10. The Question Why

Stevie Nimmo Ben Poole

Nothing Wayward Music from Ian Siegal and Jimbo Matthus

Wayward Sons-

Nothing Wayward Music from

Ian Siegal and Jimbo Matthus

 

 

There are many roads in creating stand out music that gets noticed. It is a certainty that the musical furrow Ian and Jimbo are ploughing is one of them. Definitely Nothing Wayward in the Live Music from Ian Siegal and Jimbo Mathus.

Opening with Ian Siegal who gets the show underway and introduces double grammy winner and wonderful musician Jimbo Mathus. Wayward Sons,  This is a live album brimming with bonhomie of friendship, bonding over music and the joy of singing, playing guitars and a generous dusting of charismatic magic. Ian and Jimbo in the spoken interlude are a double act, with background to the songs and wit.
This is a twenty-one track album that stretches the CD’s capacity so not a moment of wonder is lost.

The songs are a selection of traditional, artful covers and songs from Ian Siegel’s Picnic Sessions where he first met Jimbo back in 2013 and from Jimbo Mathus’ back catalogue.  Opening with In The Garden, Jimbo opens with vocals and a feel of Dylan runs throughout and has a twist on connections with Paradise.   We hear that Jimbo is glad to be brought overseas and we know they are back in 2016. Then it is Ian’s turn with a Townes Van Zandt’s Heavenly Houseboat Blues, the harmonisation is closer than close the guitar strumming hits the moods and connects to Jimbo’s harp playing. Recorded on Picnic Sessions by accident as Ian was playing it and the rest of the musicians joined in and the recording was captured.

Many people may have sung this song says Jimbo, but I am positive that Jesse James from this duo has a vim and vigour, they resemble outlaws as they approach blues/American roots music with a disrespectful swagger. The outcome is a devilish turning the known into a mighty opus of musical delight.

What do you need after a ditty about Jesse James, some gospel blues which is often included in Ian’s solo sets Mary Don’t You Weep sits in the show tonight perfectly. Ian and Jimbo are a pair of wickedly godf troubadours that just love to perform live and this energy exudes through the album.  Casey Jones a tale of a brave engine driver, lives saved all wrapped up in synchronization of voices, guitars and that swagger that makes this music a zinging hum of electric energy. This like other well-trodden tracks are given a musical spring clean with a Siegal /Matthus interpretation.  These artist are definitely not lazy in their approach, as they sing Old Earl, a tale of a lazy man who didn’t crawl until the age of seventeen, a real foot tapping, make you smile number. We leave behind outlaws and progress to pirates and an interlude where Ian checks what key, only happens in the live moment. Back talking about Overseas with Talkin’ Overseas Pirate Blues, is a sea swashbuckling number.

With cheers of delight the closing number, Ewan MacColl’s, Dirty Old Town draws the album to a close not with a whimper but a musical hurrah! This album will keep us going until we can hear the duo live for ourselves in UK & Europe in Spring 2016.

You need to purchase the album and hear every track for the nuances and more. This review is a mere snippet of the quality of the album a whisper in the wind that the music leaves behind.

Multi-award winning Ian Siegal & Jimbo Mathus have redefined great music, no pigeon-holes for them it is all about lyrics and guitars shaping the mood with vocals that stir your soul, make you smile, laugh and cry.

We all collectively have to thank whom- ever it was who pressed record at Café de Noot, a venue in Hoogland, Netherlands. So this show is not relegated to a folklore memory. We know how good it was because we have a front seat in our music rooms for today and beyond.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD TEN pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Ian Siegal & Jimbo Mathus – Wayward Sons, Nugene Records   Release date 4th March

Track Listing

  1. Introduction
  2. In The Garden
  3. Jimbo’s Alive
  4. Heavenly Houseboat Blues
  5. Jesse James
  6. Mary Don’t You Weep
  7. The Story of Casey Jones
  8. Casey Jones
  9. Crazy Old Soldier
  10. Tallahatchie
  11. Old Earl
  12. The Blues
  13. Ludella
  14. Stack O’Lee
  15. What They Call You?
  16. Talkin’ Overseas Pirate Blues
  17. Too Much water
  18. Goodnight Irene
  19. Milltone
  20. I’ll Fly Away
  21. Dirty Old Town

Ian Siegal Jimbo Mathus

 

You will not want to miss out check out venues, towns and dates HERE

A little preview of what Jimbo and Ian will be getting up to on our 2016 tour.

 

Wilde Blues-Harp in Hamburg

Wilde Blues-Harp in Hamburg

Wilde Blues-Harp in Hamburg

Will Wilde, Live in Hamburg is a mirror shining a light on why he is a live performer. Wilde Blues-Harp in Hamburg really does capture the playing from Will and the band in the moment. The adrenalin fueled energy that drives live music to that one feels is never quite captured in a studio. Live in Hamburg, has half-a-dozen previously unrecorded gems added to the mix are stand out numbers from his previous albums Unleashed and Raw Blues.

Opening with If I Get My Hands on You, greeted with cheers and driving guitar from Danny Giles we are on the road again with a Canned Heat/Southern Rock feel to the rhythm and guitar. This opening track reflects the always great Will Wilde re-enactment of Canned Heat’s On The Road Again. The opening and closing tracks are the perfect fit for a live album reflecting life of a touring musician getting the music live and personal to audiences far and wide. The opening track like the rest of the album captures the dual aspects of talent Will’s piercing Harp that shapes the melody and his vocals deep and emotionally charged.

Now the tempo rises and the music warms with Angel Came Down. The rhythm section drives this along with Victoria Smith laying down the bass line and Alan Taylor’s drumming punctuating blues-harp that weeps with a dripping intensity. A homage to the blues, What Makes People is a driving combination of the band as they artfully provide an inspired foundation for the harp to fly with energy into the musical stratosphere of free-form beauty. With a beat of the drum, weeping harp, Paranoia floats with intrigue almost as if the music has become paranoid itself. Then the lyrics are augmented with tasty riffs from Danny and the harp providing the licks. The layers of sound are complex, never over-stated as the track is all about the lyrics as the tale unfolds around the distrust Paranoia brings. As the deterioration of health and despair and frustration grows the harp becomes more intense the feeling of deep sadness overlaid with panic flows out of the speaker and dramatic track marking the half-way point. The instinctive applause after the harp-break is the reaction of a live audience immersed in the moment.

Philby, a Rory Gallagher number changes the tension with a Rock n Roll feeling number and the mood lightens the harp once again focuses your attention. Will is without argument a prodigious harmonica player. We now see a different side of Will as he plays lead guitar on The Girl I Love and Jealous Woman, a true multi-instrumentalist. The inclusion of these two tracks adds depth and another texture and tonal context as we listen for over an hour the wondrous music of Will and his band.

As the album draws to a close A Man and the Blues, a slower number that again contains that Wilde intensity that makes his singing and harp stand out from the crowd. His band is awesome and the guitar break from Danny is sublime; a blues beauty. The whole album is a testament to the power of live blues music reflecting the wonderful talent of Will and his band and how fortunate we are to be able to see blues of this quality at clubs and festivals around the country. Live albums capture the moment but not the same as actually being in the same room as when the artist performs.

Wilde Blues-Harp in Hamburg had full control of the audience and sparkled, buy the album and get to see him live at least once a year.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD EIGHT pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Will Wilde – Live In Hamburg  Release date 29th January 2016 Purchase HERE

Track Listing

1. If I get My Hands On you
2. Angel Came Down
3. Thirty Eight
4. What Makes People
5. Your Days Are Numbered
6. Paranoia
7. Philby
8. The Girl I Loved
9. Jealous Woman
10. A Man and the Blues
11. On the Road Again

Husky Tones ~ Time For A Change

Album Cover Husky Tones 'Time for a Change'

Husky Tones ~ Time For A Change
Independent

Time For A Change is most definitely a modern blues album, self-penned originals with links to the past but not tied up in knots with trying to recreate the sound of the many blues influences cited by Husky Tones. The biography of the band members instantly hints at why for a debut album the music has a polished honed feel there is a confidence in the sound they want to produce, they all have earnt their music spurs playing live gigs.

Sometimes, when the words contemporary and blues are used together it is a shorthand for diluted blues or music that nods to the heart and soul of the music, not so with Husky Tones this is a band drenched in the blues.

Husky Tones have achieved the difficult mix of contemporary tones and beats without losing the integrity that is the blues meaning that Time For A Change is an album that needs to be listened to carefully and re-visited so that the feel of the music permeates into your music DNA. It is worth it as the music hums along the vocals are strong and the harp playing deftly applied on the tracks a debut album that makes you want to see them live.
With the combination of roles, Victoria Bourne is both vocalist with beguiling husky vocals and drummer, the rest of the band add voice as backing vocals giving a lyrical depth. Matthew Ricards with deep bass completes the rhythm section and then up front is Chris Harper guitarist and blues harp player Liam Ward a powerful quartet of musicians.

The inspiration behind the tracks are standard fodder for a blues album, personal to the band are a failed marriage, criminal ancestry, struggle and then there are the vexations that life brings us, bad luck, paying bills and uphill struggles. This Bristol based band has captured it all in music that is tight and recorded in the studio replicating the live sound as close as possible for example Victoria’s drumming and vocals were recorded simultaneously on all tracks.
Ten tracks that ebb and flow with changes of tempo, one thing that is consistent is a tone that makes the Husky Tones have a definitive sound. I am convinced Victoria is both back and centre of the band she leads the music with her commanding vocals that have a colour that changes reflecting the mood of every song. Eight of the numbers are full on band numbers with superb interaction between the harp and guitar two tracks break the template. The slower, It’s A Bitter Love With You Every Time has the combination of mournful harp from Liam and Victoria’s vocals capturing a mood that is both of now and from the past. It is a blending of what make blues still a fresh and relevant sound this is a track that allows the musicians to explore the emotion of the blues. The second track out of the loop that works equally well in shaping Time For A Change, is an instrumental Daybreak, Chris’ guitar is sweet and Liam’s Harp playing divine as the chords and tone creates a dark blues based mood. Every note perfectly placed in this instrumental picture in sound.

Other stand out tracks were Uncle Walter opening with the harp and the guitar underneath reminded me of early Hokie Joint, then the vocals that shaped the story giving this a tonal landscape for this ancestor. Some twangs added to the guitar and a beat that gets the feet tapping Rent Party Blues revisits not having enough money and the blues that brings but remaining positive by having a “Rent Party”

Closing the album with the title track reminds you that this is an album that is worth exploring with ten fine tracks that always holds your music ear. Definitely a band to go out and see live as they promote the album across the country.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD EIGHT pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

1. I’m So Happy I’ve Got The Blues
2. I Dare You
3. Uncle Walter
4. Shelter
5. Fortune Seeker
6. It’s A Bitter Love With You Every Time
7. Give Me Love
8. Rent Party
9. Daybreak
10. Time For A Change

The Band
Victoria Bourne – Lead Vocals and Drums
Chris Harper – Guitar and Backing Vocals
Matthew Richards – Bass and Backing Vocals
Liam Ward – Harmonica and Backing Vocals