Black Market Tango

Intense and Emotionally Articulate Rock of the South.

As many of you will know; I’m very judgemental regarding artwork and band names ……. so this Double Album has sat on the side-lines for weeks; as I (wrongly) presumed that the incumbents were some Heavy Metal Death Squad (you’d be surprised what we get sent some weeks!!!); so it was left to my intuitive IPhone; which picked out a track last week that had me zapping back to the beginning; but more of that later.
Revolving around Daniel Hutchens and Eric Carter who first met as 8 year olds in West Virginia; and eventually upped sticks and moved to Athens GA to become Rock Stars, Bloodkin are actually an articulate Southern Rock Band who are more concerned about ‘the songs’ than the ‘boogie’ which is something I really admire; with track #1 Transistor Radio being the type of ‘driving music’ I’ve loved for more years than I care to remember. A catchy riff and a singer who can actually annunciate as he sings about something many of us still romanticise about; and there’s a girl in the mix too.
For a ‘Rock Band’ with ‘that name’ Bloodkin have a remarkably sensitive side to them; with Her Blues being the type of shuffle you’d imagine Jason Isbell ending the night with and Cantina Fever has echoes of a young Dave Alvin in the way they set the scene for a world weary love song that feels like a Spring sunset over the mountains.
Apparently there’s been a ten year hiatus before Hutchens and Carter finally got back in the studio; and perhaps that explains the restrained vibrancy and darkness that fills out Trashy, Speed Freak Highway and the song that started this mission for me; Beneath the Streets of Nashville, which is as haunting as the title suggests.
I’ve said before that I’m no particular lover of Double Albums, as there’s always a few tracks in there that shouldn’t be and judicial editing should always make for an exceptional single album.
Now; it’s not to say that everything here is Grammy potential; but in the modern idiom I’ve played this via my phone in the car and again in the house while ironing (it’s not all Rock and Roll at RMHQ!) and I never felt the need to FF anything, or worse still delete any tracks ……. it all just rolls along nicely, thank you very much.
Phew; for a Favourite Track I’m not 100% sure where to go; Man in Trouble is as feisty and punchy as I like these days; as is Gloryoski …… especially when played LOUD.
Then again I hadn’t realised that the final opus God’s Bar was 12 minutes long …. and it is; but as a stand alone epic ballad in the vein of Tom Petty or perhaps American Aquarium it’s a thing of beauty.
But; I’m going for John Coltrane in Nagasaki; not just because of the great title and back story …….. it’s the best song Chuck Prophet never wrote!
I know I’ve dropped quite a few name-bombs into the mix here, and that probably will not just annoy Daniel Hutchens and Eric Carter but their fans too; but I feel the desperate need to let RMHQ Readers know what to expect; and I’m not a million miles away with my observations; Bloodkin are as articulate as they are musical and they appear to have a sense of humour too; which is sadly missing in Rock and Roll these days.

Released April 16th 2021


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