Dave Hunt fronts Behind The Moon

Dave Hunt fronts Behind The Moon a wonderful album of blues that sound like they were born on a southern delta rather than the Haven and Welland Delta…this is quality blues written and performed impeccably.

Bluesdoodles rating: 4 Doodle Paws – a wonderful album of blues that sound like they were born on a southern delta rather than the Haven and Welland Delta…this is quality blues written and performed impeccably.

A professional drummer by the age of eighteen, Dave Hunt toured Europe behind the kit until serendipity stepped in when the vocalist of the band he was with fell ill…he took over at the front and never looked back. Since that fateful night, he has been a vocalist and he took up the harmonica to help fill the sound of the band. Spain benefitted most from his skills as he found success performing at festivals and bars around the country. Moving back to the UK saw him signing with the Mad Ears Productions record label and doing sessions for Mockingbird Hill, Mick Simpson and Malaya Blue and a recent guest spot on Riff Reign’s Still Reigning album amongst others. His solo debut, Box of Blues under his Harmonica Dave moniker, hit the shelves in 2014 and was followed with Whiskey and Demons and 100 Horses (both reviewed here on Bluesdoodles), then an EP in 2017 called Shade of Grey. The good news is that Dave now has a full-length album of rocking blues, interspersed with swampy and true old-style blues: called Behind the Moon, it is fourteen varied and skilful compositions to showcase his strong vocals and powerful but not over the top harp playing.

The info available on his supporting musicians is limited to “Guest musicians including” but if I’m right, Stuart Goodacre is Dave’s fellow Lincolnshire based bass player, Pete Nelson I think is a drummer (not the guitarist from the Flowerpot Men) and then the blurb lists “The MEP Collective” which must be something to do with the record label and is probably the horn section. Producer Andy Littlewood is also a mean guitarist (lead and bass) and can turn his hand equally to keyboards, so I’ll credit him with the rest! If I got it wrong, I apologise.

Anyway, it is the music that counts and, as there are fourteen tracks, I have set myself the difficult task of choosing my highlights…the ones I leave out are still very, very good.

The opening track, Take Me to the Sun, captures you immediately with some upright sounding bass and then slide leading to a swampy slice of rocking loveliness. The vocal’s as strong as ever and Dave’s harp is always subtle and weaves around the other instruments nicely.

Kiss This is straightforward, harped blues-rock with hints of rock ’n’ roll pulling together nicely as Dave suggests the lady in question kisses…well, it’s left to your own imagination. The guitar/harp duets are nice too but should have been developed into a centrepiece in my mind.

Preacher Man has a delicious slide introducing the story and, throughout its near six minutes, is full of virtuosity and a real treat as the man in black is unveiled. The harp solo is textured, relevant and is there to emphasise not overpower. Be My Lady is a lesson in new old blues with a great riff, superb bass and slide and harp illuminating in and around the melodies…love it. Swamp Snake Moan takes, as many modern blues do, the basic structure of old country blues songs (later used on Boogie Chillen or Spirit in the Sky or lots of ZZ) but with the slide and harp backed by the carefully toned drums, it becomes simply a great blues song.

The title track, Behind the Moon, is gospel-tinged, southern bluesy rock…a recipe that comes together with churchy yet seasidey organ intro that continues to bubble behind the simple riff. Dave allows himself a harp solo that, yet again, shows how he understands its effectiveness when done with feeling. Funky Stew is just that, funk coming from the bass as the lyrics dissolve in the swamp and the simple guitar is so effective.

Freeman is nothing to do with the catalogue and I was tempted to separate the words, but that’s how it appears: but it’s immaterial when you hear the slide, the picked riff the excellent bassline and the blues-rock that develops over this neat composition. The harp guitar interplay is a delight. Don’t Leave This Way wraps up this enjoyable album with a swampy electric blues of quality: the ‘drone’ of the guitar is remarkably effective and the playing is genius…a great way to close.

Track listing
Take Me to the Sun
Kiss This
Preacher Man
Down On My Knees
Be My Lady
Swamp Snake Moan
Behind the Moon
Cheating Man
Funky Stew
Prices Down
Blonde Woman
Don’t Leave This Way

Connect with Dave Hunt across SOCIAL MEDIA
Official Website

(iTunes transported me to Another World…as in the 2018 album from guitar bluesman Mitch Laddie and the lead-(I must admit I cheated this time…I went to the Dave above this one in my iTunes as I felt like listing to some more superb slide guitar and a voice that can only be the result of gargling gravel, whiskey and M&Ms. Step forward the wonderful Dave Arcari and my favourite album of his, Come With Me from 2006.)

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