Dale Bandyhttp://www.dalebandy.com is a new name tome and in depth information isn’t easily found. All I know is that he is from Orlando, Florida and he’s been in the entertainment industry for more than forty years. A lot of that time was behind the scenes as a technician, althoughhe played in the bands Big Shirley and Custom Deluxe…no, me neither. Something must have changed however as, with the release of his first solo album, simply entitled Blue, he has certainly taken the proverbial bull by the horns and decided that he would write, record, produce and engineer nearly all of it himself. A couple of guys helped on bass and saxophone and there are fourcovers, but elsewhere it is all Dale. (If you live in the good old US of A, you can catch Dale performing live under the Dale Bandy and the Blues Cans moniker).The album is released on the wonderfully named Elastic Penguin label that is probably his as well!
It kicks off in funky style with My Bad Reputation and its almost metronomic back line. Warming keyboards help add to the depth as the vocal cuts in with a sort of Walter Trout feel to the timbre. It gets the toes tapping and the solo is high quality as it mixes chords and single picking with a further Troutish feel. If I Could Only Take It Back is a little slower and the bass lines are simply brilliant as it wraps itself around the hi-hat and keys. The mood is a subtle blues with ahint of soul in the vocals. Another worthy guitar solo with clever hesitant picking and a mild discord work well together fleshes the song out. Next up is a mid-paced shuffle as Get It On (not that one!) opens with SRV style chords and echoes of the South are redolent throughout. There is a trombone solo which apparently is courtesy of some gizmo called an ‘audiobox’ which must be computer driven…said the tech-savvy reviewer! It works though as the sleaze pours out with its tone. Big Legged Woman was written by James Williams but best known via the Freddie King version. Here Dale gives a lively interpretation as his guitar punctuates in a way thatFreddie, I think would approve of. The sax solos don’t overstay their welcome and do add colour. Country Star is up next with its pop sensibilities over another funky bass line. The piano solo, albeit a short one, is a welcome addition. Roy Hawkins and Rick Darnell wrote the BB King classic, The Thrill Is Gone, and it gets a neat work over here as Dale injects some funky guitar on the intro before the phrasing reflects the original. The vocal, with a touch of phasing on it, actually distinguishes it from and yet pays tribute to the great man. The guitar solo manages to sound not like BB but still has some of his trademark inflections in the playing. Comin’ Down apparently started life about twenty-five years ago and is a fine piece of mid-paced blues-rock with a kind of Marsden feel to the composition and playing…in other words, a studied and intricate piece of true blues. I’m On Your Side, written by Kevin Moore, better known as Keb Mo, is smooth and silky blues with a warm tone to everything: particularly the bass as it travels the scales so neatly. The guitar solo is perfectly paced and executed. The final track, Trouble In Mind was written by Richard Marigny Jones who is known as a formidable jazz pianist and yet here, Dale takes this song and interprets it with voice guitar only…an approach I applaud because it has worked very well indeed. The backing and the solo is picked and strummed with a deft touch which actually improves on the original in my guitarist’s mind.
So, in a little over thirty minutes, we learn quite a bit about Dale’s abilities and his interpretation of our beloved genre. It is a very entertaining album without a duff track on it…the covers are good enough to stand up against the originals and his four covers compositions tend one to think, where have you been Dale? OK, it has no unique or revolutionary traits but it is a solid blues album and I, for one, hope he although he yet.
EIGHTdoodle paws out of TEN …
- My Bad Reputation
- If I could Only Take It Back
- Get It On
- Big Legged Woman (James Williams)
- Country Star
- The Thrill Is Gone (Roy Hawkins/Rick Darnell)
- Comin’ Down
- I’m On Your Side (Kevin Moore)
- Trouble In Mind (Richard M Jones)
Music and lyrics by Dale Bandy except where noted.
Dale Bandy: vocals, guitar, organ, drum/keys program, bass on track 4
Gary Thompson: bass except 4 and 9
Joe Bolero: tenor saxophone on track 4
Goran Eric: trombone on track 3
Produced and engineered by Dale Bandy.
Released on Elastic Penguin Records