Blues Guitarists make the six strings sing

Blues Guitarists make the six strings sing

Blues Guitarists make the six strings sing - Wonderful blues albums from Crooked Eye Tommy, Eric Johansen and Dudley Taft

Three artists – Crooked Eye Tommy, Eric Johansen and Dudley Taft

Three – 4 doodle paw – guitar infused albums reviews

Crooked Eye Tommy – Pain and Hot Coffee

Crooked Eye Tommy, if you haven’t heard, is actually a guitar duo consisting of Tommy and Paddy Marsh who put together the band in 2014 and in August last year released their second album called Hot Coffee and Pain and follows the acclaimed Butterflies And Snakes debut. They are blues aficionados and bring their duelling, complimentary guitars to six originals and three covers on this diverse and skilful set.

Their instrumental tribute to the Allman Brothers called The Big House where they and the band lived and wrote, is majestic: twin guitar intro, solos from each of the brothers (Tommy and Paddy that is) backed by a great walking bass and Hammond which embodies the Allman sound in an original way, although the sax solo could have been more guitar for me. Slow blues rock with more great guitar can be found on the traditionally new Sitting In The Driveway…a superb song that is pure, raw and honest blues. The title track however shifts to Memphis for a soulful and horn laced song. Free like blues rock echo through Twist In The Sky as the riff has that sparseness with the Hammond solo bringing depth and introducing a scorching guitar solo…this is quality. Baby Where You Been is more horned, soulful with the lovely Teresa James joining in on vocals and piano. Sonny Landreth’s  song about the historic area of New Orleans known as Congo Square: horn drenched, funky, bluesy and the guitars wrapping around it all so well.

A 4 Doodle Paws album of Wonderful guitar laced blues that deserves a place in you collection

  1. Death Letter
  2. Sittin in a Driveway
  3. Hot Coffee and Pain
  4. Twist the Sky
  5. Baby Where You Been
  6. Angel of Mercy
  7. Time It Takes to Live
  8. The Big House
  9. Congo Square

(iTunes ran on to the Rumble Shake of Crow Black Chicken…bluesy goodness!)

Eric Johnson Below Sea Level

A guitar natural from an early age, Eric Johanson was ‘spotted’ by none other than Tab Benoit who signed him up for his label and produced Eric’s debut (Burn It Down) in 2017. A duet album with his cousin, Tiffany Pollock, called Blues In My Blood followed and in September 2020 he released his latest work, Below Sea Level. On this one he teamed up with the equally formidable talents of Luther and Cody Dickinson to produce an album of twelve original, blues and rock with the odd hint of country and soul.

With the percussive start building via the complex riff, opening track Buried Above Ground, leaves you in no doubt that high quality is the order of the day; it gets even better as slinky slide beckons us into the lovely blues of Down To The Bottom. Never Tomorrow the rock button and delivers a (still bluesy) solid song begging for the restart of live performances. Even heavier, in a sort of Iommi concentrates on the blues kinda way…and a corking solo to boot! Have Mercy is like a three minute Mistreated in feel and execution…lovely. To prove he is just as adept on acoustic, Love Is Rebellion, is a crafted piece of emotional quality.

A 4 Doodle Paw, truly Wonderful album that has everything you need if you want blues, blues guitar, and more blues

  1. Buried Above Ground
  2. Down To The Bottom
  3. Changes The Universe
  4. Never Tomorrow
  5. Hammer on the Stone
  6. Have Mercy
  7. River Of Oblivion
  8. Nowhere To Go
  9. Open Hearted Woman
  10. Dose of Forget
  11. Love Is Rebellion
  12. Riverbend Blues

(iTunes moved me (in many ways!) onto the delightful, skilful Queen of Slide, Erja Lyytinen and the rocky Snake In The Grass from 2019’s Another World.)

Dudley Taft – Cosmic Radio

Cincinnati based guitarist Dudley Taft has had a varied career; he’s contributed to numerous film and TV projects including the classic Sixth Sense and has released six solo albums (all of which are worth checking out, although I favour 2015’s Skin And Bones.) He’d started writing for this album in 2019 and, you’ve guessed, the pandemic hit…not to be beaten Taft took advantage of the time quarantine afforded and, as his daughter Ashley Charmae was quarantined there too, they worked together with her providing backing vocals many songs and co-writing and taking the lead on Relentless…a delightful blues track with Taft’s trademark sensitivity showing on every chord and note and his daughter stealing the show with an impassioned and excellent contribution…the sort of voice you will quickly fall in love with…thanks Dad! Elsewhere amongst the dozen tracks are the rocking Left In The Dust (utilising his brand new fuzz pedal); The Devil is a heavy rock/blues/rockabilly/punk masterpiece; Goin’ Away baby is like a great update on the kind of blues that Baby Please Don’t Go embodies; Fly With Me is quality rocking blues and has psyche feel too. Even the piano led ballad I Will Always Love You has more than first impressions would have you believe…Ashley makes this better too, with some sensitive backing vocals: if only he’d expanded the acoustic ‘solo’ from seconds to, say, fifteen minutes!

A 4 Doodle Paws album of Wonderful, structured, quality guitar centric blues.

Blues Guitarists make the six strings sing
  1. Cosmic Radio
  2. Left In The Dust
  3. The Devil
  4. Goin’ Away Baby
  5. One In A Billion
  6. The End Of The Blues
  7. Relentless
  8. Fly With Me
  9. Hey Hey Hey
  10. I’m A Believer
  11. I Will Always Love You

(iTunes served up the crazy world of little known rock band Dun Field Three: daft(ish) but really enjoyable…try Rosie off their 2019, self titled album.)

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