Made My Peace With You New Album from Paul Dunbar & The Black Winter Band arriving was a reason to be excited at Bluesdoodles HQ, having first heard the gloriously distinctive vocals of Paul Dunbar performing with his previous band The Midnight Ramble at Blues on The Farm 2014. Now back as Paul Dunbar & The Black Winter Band, yes, new band, new album but same instantly recognisable vocals. Opening Made My Peace with Losing Game dripping in soulful and melodic music that pours out of the speaker. The timing and shaping of the chords are sublime when your ears are not being entertained by Dunbar’s vocals. What makes the vocals stand out as you listen to the album? There is a myriad of reasons the power, emotion and the integrity in the way the lyrics are delivered always with clarity and sensitivity to the bands playing. Then there is the grittiness and rawer edge that ensure the album is not just saccharin but full of sharp spiciness as well.
The title track opens with a crescendo of sound from the band. You know what is to come as the lyrics are shaped and given vocal heat by Dunbar. Who does he sound like? What are the bands influences? Dunbar sounds like himself a skilful mix of crooners meets bluesman via soul of Motown. The band The Black Winter is the perfect vehicle of delightful tones and textures that joins the dots with skilful interplay before Paul Dunbar’s voice rejoins the musical jamboree throughout the album.
Joining Paul on vocals and guitars are the Black Winter sound of Liam Atkinson on guitars, bassist Chris Pearce and, completing the album rhythm, drummer Phil Stevens. The band members also add voices as backing vocals they are the complete package.
Ten Tracks, nine originals and one from his previous incarnation, The Midnight Ramble, Ballad of Four Eyes. His voice screeches in tune capturing Joe Cocker vibes and bluesmen and ballads of the past.
Three tracks in and you are emotionally engaged. Inner Springsteen an acknowledged influence is captured in the rockier Friends. The tone is huskier, the guitar tone has an edge and the rhythm deep as it grows hewn from the original riff. This is an example of Dunbar’s raw talent, playing music with friends. Then roots of air, earth, sky and Raging Sea with rootsy tones rooted in the music of folks. This number is darker, deeper, moodier capturing the heart of musicians that keep giving music that clicks onto your musical DNA radar.
Closing out the album of ten tracks with Who’s Gonna Love You; the title asks a question and the listeners of music full of rocky soul and lovers of music are gonna love your sound. As you mix and meld rocking, the soulful rootsy mayhem of delights. Melodies hit the harmonies creating an energy that leaves you wanting more.
NINEdoodle paws out of TEN …
- The Losing Game
- Made My Peace With You
- Ballad of Four Eyes
- Barely Holding On
- Set Free To Emotion
- Earth Sky Or The Raging Sea
- Contort Yourself
- Hands Down
- Who’s Gunna Love You
Before booking your ticket listen to the fabulous single from the album Barely Holding On