This is a classic rendition of funk blues delivered with flair and joie de vivre and is a true demonstration of what this band can produce; the album has the feeling of a live performance with its freedom of spirit. This is the blues that has embraced the lexicon of musical styles so that each track has a different style from the jazzy feel of Freddie Kings opening track ‘Pack It Up’ through to the closing 6 minutes of Forty4’s version of Muddy Waters ‘Forty-Four’. This is a band that takes an original tune adds the sound of Forty4 and reproduces it as their own; this is achieved by Glen Lewis’ intervention on the Hammond Organ, as demonstrated on ‘Black Cat Bone’. This is not a CD about reproducing covers there are some mighty fine self-penned numbers including ‘Keep The Meter Running’ where it is the drumming from Nick Lauro that brings this track alive and the blue jazz tones found on ‘A Man For Good Loving’ shows these guys know how to make an audience swing and purr with delight.
Forty4 are without doubt a talented group from Liverpool and that is at least in part due to the laid back crisp guitar licks provided by Paul Starkey and the vocal and writing talents of Neil Partington. This is a friendly album bringing blues with vim and vigour, amounting to a good time feel that makes you want to tap your feet and laugh out loud it is a fun listen. Catch them live and they would be a great act for any festival and certainly would get the crowds dancing. Listen to the CD and hear the full diversity of sounds hidden within a blues album and have “44 Minutes” of enjoyment.