The Paul Garner Band ~ Big Road Blues: Album Review

Paul GThe Paul Garner Band
Big Road Blues
Progressive Roots

Release Date 4th December – Pre-order from HERE

The Paul Garner Band opens the album with Big Road Blues including licks and chops that are full of urban blues Chicago sound as this unfolds into a masterpiece. The guitar work is crisp, with the shaping of the blues wailing, crying and then uplifting the melody with the Hammond organ and drums the music is reformed and shaped so that the sound has a progressive feel the melody is the narrative.


This is the third album the band have produced since Paul Garner UK born, New Zealand raised. Big Road Blues is a blues album with interesting twists and turns that always finds the blues highway again. The album has eleven crafted tracks comprising nine originals from Paul, one of which is co-written with fellow band member Claudio Corona. The covers given the Paul Garner treatment are Robert Johnson’s Preaching Blues, with a jaunty feel with a piano intro that takes you back to a Juke Joint, but this is a thoroughly modern version I am positive that Robert would have approved of especially the addition of backing vocals making the track full of interest. The second cover is an interesting version of JB Lenoir’s The Whale Has Swallowed Me, and then the heavily inspired title track from a Tommy Johnson number as well as the inspiration for Canned Heat’s, On The Road works well as it does coming toward the closing stages of the album.


Paul Garner’s own compositions have a swinging urbane feel as he mixes West Coast, Chicago and his own style of the blues a cocktail of sound that is beguiling, opening with Too Much Love you just know this is an album you will enjoy listening to.  The instrumental Blues For Vanessa, progressive in its tonal shape, has complexity and with the shining guitar work from Paul it is dipped in blues of such depth and hue it is the epitome of Progressive Blues that Paul uses to describe the band. This is no one trick pony approach to the blues with slide guitar on a Texas blues inspired number Cold Shoulders and once again the lyrics have a presence thanks to the vocal interpretation by Paul himself.


The trio augment each other creating the music with the immense musical skills they possess. A trio that mirrors another blues band without a bass player – Matt Schofield, the line-up is Paul Garner – guitar, vocals Claudio Corona – keyboards Jason Ribeiro – drums. Big Road Blues album is one that will never bore you, there are new hidden delights in the numbers every time the sound flows from the speakers and you are drenched in blues that is an infectious mix of traditional and progressive.


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

Track Listing

  1. Too Much For Love
  2. 7 Waters
  3. Holes
  4. Blues For Vanessa
  5. Cold Shoulders
  6. Icebreaker
  7. Preaching Blues
  8. The Whale Has Swallowed Me
  9. The Word
  10. Big Road Blues
  11. Push A Little Harder

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