Charlie Bedford – Good To Go
Charlie Bedford is a young Australian rock tinged blue guitarist who is making a stir with his modern take and powerful performances. Last year, he released his second album, Good To Go and supplies eleven original tracks to prove he can write ‘em as well as sing and play ‘em (plus one cover). None of the tracks break four minutes, but that isn’t a criticism other than the short running times limit the solos!
Opening with the suitably funky Money Junkie, we get slap bass tight with drums and neat chord work and vocals with a clever (short) solo with judicious pedal work. No Rain, No Flowers sounds a bit like Tommy Bolin era James Gang with the harmony vocals, lilt and chord attack, as does the title track but with added quality percussion and a cracking solo. Get Rude isn’t what you think…it’s a funky, clever story with a Stevie Salas feel of funk. Upgrades is a sort of melodic punk with suitable bounce; Telephone is a short and ‘unexplored’ instrumental with a psychedelic tint and shows that as a player, Charlie has a lot more to offer…he is only twenty dammit! The cover of Willy Deville’s Steady Driver Man is fairly faithful but it does have some neat additions with percussion and harp…if only that solo had been longer and higher in the mix. Closing track, Blues For John, is a tribute to the late John Jerman former President of the Melbourne Blues Appreciation Society and the guitar and harp combine beautifully to make this the best for me as it is pure, quality blues and they could have traded solos for another hour for me.
A 4 Doodle paw album of the lighter side of blues rock with lashings of funk and a bit of soul finishing with as good a blues instrumental as you’d hear anywhere.
1. Money Junkie
3. No Rain No Flowers
4. Good To Go
5. Windy Wednesday
7. Get Rude
9. Just A Little Longer
11. Steady Drivin Man
12. Blues For John
(iTunes, inevitably, served up another Charlie…Mr Musselwhite in fact with the lively blues of troubled No More…nice!)
Paul Boddy and the SlideWinder Blues Band – Friends Of Tuesday
Paul Boddy and the SlideWinder Blues Band may come from Philadelphia but their blues rock blend is more Texas and Chicago. It is wholly original and, I get the impression when listening to their five track EP, Friends Of Tuesday, that an important part of their playing is fun…it also has some lyrics that tend toward triple (never mind double) entendres and that is just fine by me.
Opening with the key washed, funky and damnably catchy base, the humour is thinly veiled and totally relatable (to old man me, anyway); we also get a neat picked (short) guitar solo and a very imaginative Hammond solo that plays brilliantly with the melody. Money On Love is laced with slide and so is always going to get a positive from me…especially as the bottleneck use makes each note speak. It is a fairly basic southern(ish) feel blues rock but the slide, keys and knowing lyrics make it fresh. Criticism of fashion (?) is the next tongue-in-cheek subject on Knock My Boots. Rolling rhythms, slide and piano get you tapping along and a decent sax solo contributes; even if I’d have preferred some more of that lovely slide technique…for an extra hour! Pretty Kitty is the best as the opening sounds like Strange Kind Of Woman but blends in a slinky blues rock song with lyrics that (unless it’s my mind at fault) leaves little to, shall we say, work out? It is a great song though with neat Hammond and quality guitar solos.
A 4 Doodle Paw album: only five tracks, but I enjoyed them all. The sense of fun, smut and quality musicians make this a regular listen, even if is so that I ensure I don’t miss a single entendre!
1. Over The Hump
2. Love Me Darlin’
3. Money On Love
4. Knock My Boots
5. Pretty Kiddy
(iTunes delivered a track from the brilliant compilation of rare late 60s, early 70s heavy rock…called ‘Tremors:Digging for British Hard Rock Nuggets’ it is packed with brilliant, formative heavy rock: this time it gave the little known Paul Brett’s Sage and the wonderful Custom Angel Man.)
CD Woodbury – World’s Gone Crazy
Singer, songwriter and blues guitarist, CD Woodbury’s second album, the World’s Gone Crazy, is a seemingly prescient title given all that has gone on since this work began.
Backed by a band stuffed with talent – The Kings of Beale Street – the Washington state bluesman supplies eight originals and five covers that ensure the broad brush that is the blues is represented in all its glory.
If we look at a couple of covers first: Hey Joe is always a brave choice considering the number of interpretations out there…Hendrix (of course), Deep Purple and, my favourite, Robert Plant. This version follows fairly closely the Jimi one, but has sax in the mix as CD does a cracking job on guitar. It may not supplant Plant (!) but it is a very worthy reading. Willie Dixon’s Wang Dang Doodle also has many versions: CD and the band obviously have a ball as they give it a tasty update especially with the guitar tone and chording. Sax and guitar share solos again and do a fine job. Elsewhere songs like the opener Follow That River Home starts off as shiver inducing field holler before the fast paced riff kicks in with slide too. It may sound familiar but the lovely tone as CD uses the bottleneck so wisely is a delight…the solo in particular is well constructed and played brilliantly: way too short. Walk Around Music plays the jazz cliches well and still sounds original…the Pink Panther would love it. Emerald City Blues is a high quality, straightforward blues rock with hints of Lynott in the vocals and Moore in the guitars that makes me think that’s the emerald allegory. Either way, it’s a good ‘un with the Hammond washes, the guitar punctuations and a quality solo to top it all off. Closing it all out is a biting commentary in the lyrics of Preacher and the President…backed with a fabulous Hammond/guitar riff, Hammond then guitar solo end the album on high.
A 4 Doodle Paw album of strong and varied blues, with enough layers to make each listen a new experience.
1. Follow The River Home
2. Walk Around Music
3. I Didn’t Know
4. Emerald City Blues
5. Memphis Heat
6. World’s Gone Crazy
7. South of South Hill
8. Can’t Eat That Stuff No More
9. Wang Dang Doodle
10. Last Go Round
12. Hey Joe
13. Preacher And The President
(iTunes run on delivered some 60s rhythm and blues mixed the vocals of Chad Carson that echo Jim Reeves! Don’t worry, I bought this one as it has Ritchie Blackmore on guitar during his packed session work period.)