Big Boy Bloater & The Limits
The Big Boy Finally Punches His Weight!
Although he’s been on the Blues trail for more years than his youthful appearance suggests; I only discovered Big Boy Bloater by accident a couple of years ago; when I was at Durham Gala Theatre to see another act and I saw a poster for his forthcoming gig.
There was something about the way he looked; perhaps the way he carried his guitar; perhaps it was even the Pork Pie Hat; but I just knew I was going to like whatever he was selling. And like it I did!
By my reckoning this is Bloater’s sixth and while I’ve loved the rest; you can tell that he’s moved into the Division 1 right from the off; as opening track Devils Not Angels has class written all over it. There’s no surprise with the quality of the songwriting; but the production and the way the song is constructed is straight outta Memphis; mixing the Blues with some real horny Soul; and even a pinch of New Orleans Jazz in the corners, not to mention a Classic Rock rhythm section.
On I Love You (But Can’t Stand Your Friends) he is brutally honest in his words to his lover and boy, oh boy can Big Boy Bloater play that guitar!
The production on the album is very sympathetic to Bloater’s strengths – his guitar playing, his songs and most of all that distinctive, charismatic voice. Listen to the whip smart Devils Tail and Robot Girlfriend and you will fall in love with the UK’s premier Singer-songwriter/guitar-slinger amalgam; I kid you not.
While he rocks like a good ‘un on the majority of songs; Bloater can do slow and sexy too (seriously); All Things Considered is something of a bittersweet love song; that you could imagine Al Green or Otis singing;with exactly the same raw emotion Bloater gives it.
Best of breed? Whoa; that’s difficult because it will change according to my and your mood. Today it’s the title track; the funkilicious Luxury Hobo Blues; which ticks all my boxes. But last week it was It Came Out Of The Swamp in all it’s dirty, foot stompin,’ and playful glory.
The excellent use of keyboards on the album makes it different from what has gone before in his career; and without ever straying into that boring noodling territory favoured by our American cousins; Bloater keeps his own guitar playing as tight as a ducks bum; only sliding into a solo when absolutely necessary for the development of the song; which is one of the reasons that this is his best album so far….by a Country mile.
There is something here for everyone who loves Soulful Blues that not only Rocks, but has more Rhythm than a Catholic on a Friday night.
Released Friday 26th February 2016