Spin Doctors – If The River Was Whiskey (2013)

Spin Doctors
If The River Was Whiskey

Indie Rockers go back to the future to become the best Bar Band in the World

The Spin Doctors hadn’t crossed my radar in I don’t know how many years until I was flicking through my eldest sons CD collection back in February and stumbled on Pocket Full Of Kryptonite which I borrowed and played in the car on the journey home. A week later I received an e-mail from a PR company asking If I’d like to review the new Spin Doctors album!

The album duly arrived and I’ve had great fun playing it; as, after being steeped in Americana and Folk music for the last five years I rediscovered the Blues at Christmas and it appears that the good Doctors have had a similar epiphany recently; although in their defence this is the music that they were playing in the bars of NY when they were first ‘discovered’ twenty five years ago.

The title track If The River Was Whiskey (Irish spelling btw) rocks like a rodeo bull on amphetamines and had my blood pumping from the first few chords. Traction Blues is in a similar vein with buzz-saw guitar riffs cutting across everything in sight; just like Keef used to do.

I don’t know what Chris Barron’s been doing in the last 20 years but his remarkable voice has hardly aged a day; he doesn’t have to strain for anything and when he’s singing the faster songs he makes the most of what he’s got and you can hear every darn word; which isn’t true of every singer his age these days.

This is an album that I guess the band dreamed of making when they were trawling the backstreet dives all of those years ago; but with hindsight they wouldn’t have had the ability to write songs of this maturity or play with the assurance age and experience brings.

The band sound like they are having a ball all the way through If The River Was Whiskey songs like Scotch and Water Blues, The Drop and Some Other Man Instead comfortably stand shoulder to shoulder with the best of early Aerosmith and Guns & Roses but without the cockiness and hysterics.

My favourite track on the album is the final cut; two and half minutes of killer rocking Blues – What My Love? Great song, great guitar playing, great rhythm and a song the Stones would sell their souls for.

The boys are back in town and I can’t wait to see them play live.


UK Release – April 30th
US Release – May 6th

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