For Those Who Need The Blues There Is Giles Robson
A different side of Blues Harp maestro Giles Robson with new band who performed so superbly at 2016 Rock & Blues Weekend in Skegness. The result of the show an album that will be a must for lovers of blues driven by deep tones created by the harp playing of Giles. The album is resplendent with shades of every hue of blue building a maze of musical soundwaves that intrigue, delight and leave you wanting more. The mix of sounds are completed by Giles’ deep, warm vocals with the addition , blues guitar breaks as sweet as a summer blue sky from Andy Knight. The rhythm section, bassist Jeff Walker and drummer Darren Crome takes you deep down to the dark shades of blues and royal add a beat that winds around the guitar vocals and harp.
Opening with a Shady Heart and closing with A Walter Shade of Blue this is a blues driven experience looking forward,, contemporary and fresh tapping deep into the roots of delta blues. The lyrics have a narrative starting with Shady Heart we find out about mean tricks and evil. Then the glory of a harp lead break, sharp, sweet and a layer of mischief the drumming timing in with the blowing cheeks of Giles. The album takes you on a smoky blues journey through immaculate phrasing, timing and the excitement of the guitar licks and Giles voice with a swagger that reflects the harp playing. Where Your Been? He asked and if you haven’t caught up with Giles live or his previous album Crooked Heart of Mine, building on his blues with attitude. This is music that springs out of the box to excite and whirl around your head with excitement. Rock-blues harp invented and refined by Giles with straight-out-of-the-box Hohner Special Twenty and Marine Band harmonicas.
The album is full of beats and Andy Steps Out has a boogie/swing feel and Andy’s guitar grinds the momentum along. With electric vitality. This is rocking and rolling no grunge on the garage floor tonight. Andy’s superb guitar in the spotlight moment gets the dancing feet up and moving with rhythmic delight, on this clever instrumental. The masterful harps are soon back with the sustain notes that make you hold your breath in wonder, first the control and then the effortless ease in which Giles puts down the harp and starts to sing. The combination is intoxication and the interaction between harp and vocals are seamless. The slower tempo of Start A War is full of nuggets of golden music from the drumming to bass and then the top layers from harp and guitar. Rounding of the blues with Giles ‘vocals. This a track that winds around your blues heart and lingers with a caress of magical delight.
The album has shuffles from Chicago on the opening track and a powerful shuffle on the appropriately named G.R. Shuffle, the second instrumental on the album. This time harp and guitar harmonise and play around the shuffle set by the drums. Once again Giles and his band are re-defining the blues shaping and cajoling in to a contemporary form light and dark, sweet and sour all rocked up with his branding iron of musical fire. Closing with the third instrumental the best has been kept ‘til last! With a tribute to Little Walter. The emotional journey is huge as the harp draws up yearning, sadness and joy. This is blues that hurts with its simplicity, complexity and sheer beauty. Wow! Giles this is amazing more that a tribute it is the love of a fellow great harp player A Walter Shade of Blue is spectacular..
The band connects with the blues, each other and the listener with authenticity, freshness and the curve balls to keep you interested. A band that has a basketful of creativity that has not been dictated and re-formed into a pre-conceived shape. The band as a fluidity and charm, openness of music direction. The quality is stunning, the virtuoso display of harp playing is exciting and this is a solo album that will be repeated often to soak up the gritty, darkly shadowed immensity of the blues from Giles Robson. The album cements Giles as one of the great Harmonica players and definitely the best in the twenty-first century. This album is the perfect antidote For Those Who Need The Blues.
Bluesdoodles gives this CD TEN doodle paws out of TEN ….
For Those Who Need The Blues – Giles Robson – Blue Midnight Records
1. Shady Heart
2. Sarah Lee
3. Where You Been?
4. Andy Steps Out
5. Bound For The Border
6. Start A War
7. G.R. Shuffle
8. Summa That Good Stuff
9. A Walter Shade Of Blue