Lincoln Durham – The Shovel vs The Howling (2012)

Lincoln Durham
The Shovel vs The Howling

Red raw Blues from the bowels of Hades

The Blues are an acquired taste and I’ve been involved in one too many drunken arguments over the years about which is the definitive style, and the only thing that aficionados can agree on is that the Blues must come from the Soul and boy; does Lincoln Durham have Soul in spades.

Throughout this; his debut album, Lincoln Durham captures the essence of the originators like Blind Lemon Jefferson and the styling of Son House and even Townes Van Zandt but there is also a soupcon of early Beefheart here too and for the youngsters reading this perhaps the White Stripes are in some of the corners too; but Lincoln Durham has found a sound that is definitively his and his alone.

Every song is passionately intense and most are best played loud especially Mud Puddle and Love Letters which features some of the dirtiest guitar playing I’ve heard in years. ButPeople of the Landwith Durham’s gravelly voice, a shaker, a fiddle, a National Steel and a female choir firmly puts that Springsteen chap in his place when it comes to Blue Collar working class protest songs.

On my first listening I found my pulse quickening every time a song ended as I had no idea what was going to come out of the speakers next; and that doesn’t happen very often in my musical cocoon.

If the Black Keys are your ‘thing’ check this out to hear the album they should have made.

Ray Wylie Hubbard claims “Lincoln Durham is your man – they don’t come no cooler.” And that’s good enough for me.

this review first appeared in Maverick magazine

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