Jeff Fetterman Band SOUTHERN SON

Jeff Fetterman Band
Southern Son
Self-Release

Sizzling, Soulful and Southern Blues Straight Outta Pennsylvania.

As regular readers know we desperately try to be as up to date as possible with our reviews at RMHQ; but a new supplier of amazing Blues Music in America keeps sending us albums from his 2020 back pages; and some are just too hot to ignore ……. so let’s welcome Jeff Fetterman into our crazy little world.
The accompanying bio is limited; so apart from this probably being the Bands 4th album and they hail from the Rock and Roll capital of Pennsylvania ….. Bradford!
It’s all about the music.
The opening drums/keyboard intro to I Don’t Want To was already more than enough to capture my attention; but when a tight and funky horn section kicked in to introduce Fetterman’s husky and ‘lived in’ voice; my SPIDEY-SENSES already deduced that this was going to be a rather special song ……. and it is.
A crippling story of heartbreak after capturing his lover in another man’s bed ……… but the the cruel twist in the tail is that he still loves her; all told over a red hot rocking Blues melody full of Fetterman’s signature liquid guitar playing.
What’s not to like kids?
Who said start with an explosion and then build the tension? Well; that’s what we get here.
There’s a whole lotta Soul in Fetterman’s songs but the band and he are Rhythm and Blues Rock personified on Ain’t Got You and extra spicy 49/61 which has a sting in the tail that has to be heard to be believed.
The horn section sit out a few songs; and bizarrely aren’t even missed on Tell Me Baby and the sublime and sultry Living With the Blues which are exemplary examples of why The Blues can be as sad can be, yet still sound truly beautiful too.
Blues instrumentals can often be a bit ‘light’ but here; Blues For Charlie comes over like a velvety mix of Booker T with Buddy Guy or Robert Cray on soul affirming geetar.
There’s a cover version here that took me three plays to recognise; as I thought it was some kind of nod to Curtis Mayfield; but who would ever have expected a Funk rendition of All Along The Watchtower to be this damn good? Not me, that’s for sure; but it is.
On my copy there are two bonus tracks; Voodoo Funk, which is exactly what it says on the tin and will be a floor-filler at the Hoockie Coochie Club in Newcastle if Warren ever hears it and the other couldn’t be more apposite – Southside Blues, which features some phenomenal electric keyboard playing.
Which brings me back to choosing a Favourite Song; which is sort of easy; but also highlights the incredible diversity that Jeff Fetterman shows in not just his playing but the way he chooses his songs to suit the music.
Going Down to Nashville just stands out from the crop; full stop. Twang guitar that’s worthy of Chet Atkins but a melody and a dynamic taken straight from the Chuck Berry play-book makes this sizzle, shake and shimmy like the girl Fetterman is singing about and it works for me.
Jeff Fetterman has been around a long time; playing every club withing a 300 mile radius of his home town and sharing stages with just about every household name Rock or Blues guitarist to venture into that part of America; but this album is far too good to stay in Pennsylvania …… it deserves a much wider audience; and Europe is gonna love it!

http://www.jefffetterman.com/
Released May 2020



Wily Bo Walker and Danny Flam AIN’T NO MAN A GOOD MAN (Deluxe Edition)

Wily Bo Walker and Danny Flam
AIN’T NO MAN A GOOD MAN (Deluxe Edition)
Self-Release

Taking British R&B to a Whole New Swampy and Rapscallion Level.

I can’t keep up date with Wily Bo Walker’s musical releases. Sometimes they are brand new songs and others remixes and AIN’T NO MAN A GOOD MAN (Deluxe Edition) is a wonderful hybrid of the two; with album #1 being all new songs featuring Wily Bo and the Danny Flam Big Band while album #2 is full of yet more re-mixes of Mr Walkers recent songs put through the veritable musical mixer.
So, let’s start with the new stuff; which is why you will be parting with your hard earned pocket money.
The title track Ain’t No Man a Good Man storms out of the speakers and not just grabs you by the throat; but shakes you to the core and hardly leaving you able to breathe.
Walker’s expressive and rasping vocals are marched perfectly by Danny Flam’s Big Band and perhaps it takes such a big sound to bring out the best in not just his words, but Walker’s vocal enthusings too ……. as he ain’t sounded much better than this!
The themes here are not just very cinematic but timeless and full of raw energy, none more so than the swinging R&B of Velvet Windows (Treme Trippin’) which fair rattled the office window when turned up to 9.
When you hear songs like Fool For You (2020 Hindsight) and Ain’t Hungry No More you will wonder why the grave voiced Wily Bo and the majestic Danny Flam Big Band don’t have their own Saturday night TV Show; but sometimes we like to keep some things a secret, don’t we?
It’s far too obvious to compare this album to Dr. John’s output; but there certainly is plenty of Gris Gris in Did I Forget (to tell you I love you?) and Time to Forget You; but to these ears, there’s more than a smidgen of Georgie Fame and Zoot Money in their too; making this British R&B on steroids!
If you even vaguely like Van Morrison’s Big Band excursions, you will simply love Wily Bo’s sultry and storming version of St. James’ Infirmary Blues to death!
Album #1 closes with an amazing reinvention of Build My Gallows (Ain’t No Return) and on any other album this dark and brooding five minutes would easily be my Favourite Track, but …….. there’s the enigmatic Night of The Hunter which is most obviously thematically linked to the film of the same name; and certainly lives up to its Film Noir credentials too.
Historically I’m not re-disposed to re-mixes of songs; but here I can’t urge you strongly enough to buy the Deluxe Version or else you will miss out on hearing I Want To Know (NY Funk Mix) and When the Angels Call Your Name (Bourbon Street Mix) as both sizzle like a bloody steak on a red hot BBQ.
Drive (Two Lane Blacktop Mix) and Walk In Chinese Footsteps both deserve a courteous mention too; with the latter making me hunt out my old Was Not Was 12″ singles for the first time in years.
I’ve always loved Bo Diddley; but never imagined someone could re-imagine Who Do You Love? in the way Wily Bo does with his NYC Chiller Mix; but it’s truly amazing ……… think of it as a Michael Jackson/Tom Waits mash-up featuring Miles Davis and the Meters then mixed by Aaron Neville!
Then; last but not least there is the majestic For The Children which I don’t believe I’ve heard before in any guise; but have fallen head over heals in love with.
There you have it, Wily Bo Walker (and friends) have come right out of left field to deliver not just one; but two stunning new albums that I can’t recommend highly enough.

Released 31st July 2020
https://wilybo.com/

Hurricane Ruth GOOD LIFE

Hurricane Ruth LaMaster
Good Life
Showplace

Phwoah! Sizzling, Slinky and Impassioned Blues With a Soulful Slant.

Some weeks I feel I’m part of a Rhythm & Blues Secret Society as I keep receiving amazing albums from bands and singers that neither I nor anyone I know has ever heard of; but are always World Class!
This is Hurricane Ruth LaMaster’s fifth album and has not just blown my Lockdown cobwebs away …. but blown my mind too.
The opening track Like Wildfire certainly lives up to its title ……. Ms. LaMaster comes at you like a wild cat on hormones as the guitars sound like they were recorded during the St Valentine’s Day massacre and the rhythm section powered by the Springfield nuclear reactor; and is that Jerry Lee Lewis on piano? I doubt it; but hear this song and you will easily understand my query.
Phew …… first time I heard this song I felt like I needed a lie down in a darkened room straight afterwards; but Ruth ain’t taking any prisoners, so the next song; Dirty Blues may not be quite as fiery but it sizzles and slinks in a way that will make a maiden Aunt blush.
After only two tracks I knew I was in for the long haul; and said a silent prayer to the God of the Blues that this band will tour the UK in the very near future.
As her CV suggests, Ruth LaMaster sure isn’t no one trick pony; she simply scorches your senses on She’s Golden and Late Night Red Wine, while she can break your heart in two with the sad and soulful Good Life which features some truly mournful Hammond organ too.
The songs are in general quite suburb, mixing Classic Blues themes with contemporary edginess and all channeled through Ruth’s vocals which can be dynamic one moment and truly melancholic the next yet always sounding engaging to the listener.
As usual I’ve played this album in the car and the RMHQ office too; and it’s slotted into all kinds of moods …… both good and bad tempered!
Choosing a Favourite Track hasn’t been particularly easy; as 4 or 5 have jumped out at different times (see my notes about my mood swings) but I’ve narrowed it down to three Black Sheep, Who I Am and I’ve Got Your back. All are completely disparate and sum up the album in their beautiful differences; with I’ve Got Your Back being a slow Soulful groove and lyrics that will bring a lump to your throat; and with the way things have been recently, the punchy, potent and powerful Black Sheep has become something of a theme tune whizzing around inside my head. Then, there’s Who I Am ….. phwoah ………the Hendrix meets Prince in a roadhouse melody does it no harm at all and Ruth’s intensely passionate and feverish delivery sent not just shivers, but tingles too down my back! The song certainly sounds like it’s meant to be autobiographical but as with all the best written songs through the ages; a lot of listeners will think “that is about me!” Therefore it is the official RMHQ Favourite Song on what will become one of our Favourite Albums of 2020.
While the themes here may not be of the happiest of varieties; I’m a grown up so GOOD LIFE has been a joy from start to finish; and several times in the last month has been played 3 or 4 times on rotation, which is quite some feet in my office.

Released July 10th 2020
https://www.hurricaneruth.com/


Jimmy The Dog RATTLESNAKE LOVE

Jimmy The Dog
Rattlesnake Love
Studiodawgs

Is it Classic? Indie? Blues Or Glam? Who Knows; But it Certainly Rocks.

Where does the time go? It only seems like 5 minutes since I thoroughly enjoyed Jimmy The Dog aka Jim Ferrie’s last release RUNNIN’ WITH THE PACK yet it was 2016 he tells me!
Whatever, it’s 2020 now and the time is right for some Classic Indie Rock and Roll with a Glam heartbeat …… isn’t it?
Or is that just me?
The title track with it’s wonderful ‘metaphor’ for a tempestuous relationship starts the album and immediatly had me turning the dial to nine (I can’t cope with 11 anymore).
Ferrie’s grizzled vocals, blistering guitar playing (somewhere between Hank B Marvin and Jeff Beck!) coupled to bass and drums that wouldn’t have been out of place on TOTP anytime in the mid 70’s sets the tone for a bunch of songs that will set your heart racing and your feet shuffling.
The 2020 ‘Lockdown’ meant that work dried up in Ferrie’s recording studio …… so with time on his hands and songs in his heart …. this album is the outcome.
They say the ‘Devil makes work for idle hands’ and that may be the case here; but ……… ‘The Devil also has all the great tunes’ too!
Hard For You and Needle in a Haystack are slinky and sleazy in equal measure and destined many a Late Night playlist on those streaming sites I detest; but when Ferrie unleashes his inner sinner, the Twangtastic Lovin’ The Old School Way and Little Miss must surely be heading for the Classic Rock radio stations too, won’t they?
Although they actually sound a bit left of centre tucked away among the Rockers, Ferrie slides in a couple of lowdown Bluesy tunes too …….. and it won’t break my heart to hear a full album of songs like Bourbon & Rye or Sunrise or album closer, the rather racy and naughty Johnson, either!
But, it’s really the Rockers that you will remember for years to come.
MAN! The squealing and squally guitar in Race to Win very nearly overshadows Ferrie’s nicotine stained powerful vocals, but loses out by the second verse; and at this stage I can’t not mention the organ playing; which is somewhat akin to Keith Emerson in his Nice days! (There’s a reference for the oldies out there!)
The other doozy; The Devil Takes Care of His Own is by far and away my Favourite Track here; echoes of Thin Lizzy and my favourite Glam Rock band Hello are in there, but this is pure and simple Jimmy The Dog at their (his?) very, very best.
It’s odd to think, for someone of my vintage; how much music has and hasn’t changed in the last half century.
I hear so many influences here, it’s frightening; but add them all together and they add up to what is now known as Classic Rock I suppose; but with an Indie slant as well as a Blues heart
I think Jimmy The Dog’s RATTLESNAKE LOVE could be the sound of my Summer.

Released July 1st 2020
https://www.jimmythedog.com/music

Rory Gallagher 25th ANNIVERSARY

Sunday the 14th June, will mark the 25th anniversary of the passing of the late, lamented musician Rory Gallagher.
With the current lockdown restrictions, understandably, events have had to be curtailed for the occasion; with the postponement of the unveiling of a statue outside of the Ulster Hall in Belfast, and the annual Rory Gallagher four-day music festival, in Ballyshannon, Ireland plus other planned tribute shows too.

However, like the musician’s own ability to improvise, the day will be marked by Rory followers around the world. 
WDR TV, in Germany, will be transmitting his many infamous Rockpalast performances and other European countries will be broadcasting Rory documentaries and concert programming too.

On the 14th June, Eagle Rock in partnership with YouTube will screen Rory’s performance with Taste at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970 at 8:00 p.m. (BST) and in the build up to that a streamed mini Rory festival will be taking place across Facebook and YouTube, staring at 5pm, featuring a number of musicians who played with or are inspired by Rory.
Hosted by radio legend David ‘Kid’ Jensen, the stream will include ‘Band Of Friends’ featuring Rory’s former drummer and bass player Brendan O’Neil and Gerry McAvoy, Belfast born singer/songwriter Dom Martin and Peter Donegan, son of Rory’s first musical hero Lonnie Donegan.

Hot Press, Ireland’s premier music and cultural, magazine are producing a special edition to honour the occasion (released June 18th) and together with Fender Musical Instruments they will host the opportunity for someone to win a Fender ‘Rory Gallagher’ replica Stratocaster. The publication will also feature contributions from the Rory’s many admiring peers including new interviews with SlashJohnny MarrJ Mascis amongst others.

2020 has already been a successful year for Rory’s legend, with the release of the ‘Check Shirt Wizard’ album (a live collection of Rory’s early 1977 UK performances), saw the artist return to the album charts, notably, claiming the No.1 spot in Billboard’s Blues chart for three consecutive weeks. “This is a crowning honour in celebrating my brother, in his anniversary year and especially an acknowledgement of his devoted following” said Dónal Gallagher, Rory’s brother and manager.
RMHQ Review by John Jobling
https://rockingmagpie.wordpress.com/2020/02/13/rory-gallagher-check-shirt-wizard-live-in-77-2/

Rory Gallagher Online Tribute Concert 5pm to 8pm June 14th can be streamed from:
www.facebook.com/RoryGallagher/ & www.youtube.com/rorygallagherofficial

At 8pm the Taste Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970 concert can be streamed from:
www.youtube.com/user/eaglerocktv

Eliza Neals BLACK CROW MOAN

Eliza Neals
Black Crow Moan
EH Records

A Blues Rockin’ Emotional Rollercoaster.

I was first told about this album two months ago, and due to the vagaries of the Postal system in the US at the moment, it’s now arrived three weeks after the original release date.
Hey Ho! Due to the Covid-19 ‘lock-down’ around the world time appears to be standing still; so no harm – no foul!
Yikes! First song, Don’t Judge The Blues opens with some of the dirtiest Resonator guitar I may ever have heard; and not just sets the tone for the next two and a half minutes; but the whole album itself! It’s a veritable foot-stomper with Eliza’s expressive voice showing no signs of wear and tear in the three years since her last release; 10,000 Feet Below …… which still finds it’s way onto the Rocking Magpie Mobile stereo.
I received this album at about 9.30 this morning and it’s been hermetically sealed to the office stereo all day …….. and the expression ’emotional rollercoaster’ has sprung to mind several times ….. phew, this lady has absolutely drained me over the last nine hours!
I will get the ‘Guest Stars’ out of the way early on; as this album is about Eliza, pure and simple; but Joe Louis Walker adds his amazing trademark guitar licks to The Devil Don’t Love You and the title track Black Crow Moan; but doesn’t even come close to ‘stealing the show’ on either; with the former being a sizzling Gospel song and the latter a fabulously slow and slinky ballad that will set the hair on your neck on end.
The other is a new name to me, Derek St Holmes from Ted Nugent’s band; but fear not comrades; he shows an immaculately subtle touch on the emotionally fragile Never Stray and then on Ball & Chain gives us a bit of an Albert King style Masterclass as Eliza raises her game in the sultriest of manners; proving that she really, really should be taken more seriously by Blues Aficionados and critics the world over.
On Why You Ooglin’ Me? she not just matches those two Cats, note for note on the electric guitar, but her words and vocal performance show she’s a lady that’s not to be messed with ……… she fights back, and most likely wins!
For an hour this afternoon album closer, the Chuck Berry homage Take Your Pants Off! was a shoe-in to be my Favourite Track here; and history will probably show it be a Show-Stealer and Show-Stopper at future gigs; but I’m now being drawn back to the innovative Watch Me Fly and the intensely romantic Run Sugar Run; which is now tipping the scales in its favour, as it’s just that ‘little bit different’ and is now touching me in ways the other one isn’t; so Run Sugar Run is the Official RMHQ Favourite Track ….. for today.
Because of my historical love of ‘Blues Rock’ PR’s and Labels across the world somehow find our tiny site and inundate us with albums by singers and bands with only a hint of The Blues in their music; and for future reference …… I/we grew out of Hard Rock when we a) learnt to shave and b) discovered girls!
Stop It!
Eliza Neals on the other hand takes the Blues and Rocks every drop of passion, pathos and S.O.U.L out of it in a way that could and should actually the benchmark for the genre.

Released April 20th 2020
http://elizaneals.com/
https://eliza-neals.square.site/product/BlackCrowMoan/26?cs=true



Tom Gilberts OLD SCHOOL

Tom Gilberts
Old School
Polymerase Records

Look No Further For The Latest Master of Laid Back and Cool Electric Blues.

Several times over the last ten years or so I’ve had ‘deep and meaningful’ conversations with friends and relatives about the standard of guitar playing; most notably of the electric variety in the 21st Century.
Obviously none of them listen to even 10% of the ‘new music’ I do; but I still get left dumbfounded when someone, who should know better tells me that “no one will ever be better or more innovative than ‘BB King or Hendrix or Clapton or Gallagher or Howe’ depending on their taste half a bloody century ago!
Get with the programme Grandad!!!
Now I’m not saying Tom Gilberts will be dividing opinion like that in 2070; but he sure can bend those strings in a way that Eric Clapton stopped doing long before he’d discovered the joys of Mother Heroin.
Don’t get too excited; as Tom Gilberts taps into the mellower side of Yer Blues, with opener ‘Lady’ Luck being the type of timeless song that we normally associate with BB King or Albert Collins; and his guitar simply shimmers and shines behind his richly sorrowful heartbreaker; that sets the mood just perfectly for what is to follow.
I just love the way Tom makes these complex tunes sound so effortless and even graceful; especially the instrumentals My Paper Bag, Brown’s Camp the Jazzy Dark Clouds, which in lesser hands could easily drift and meander; but here there’s not one single note out of place.
There’s even a cheeky nod in the direction of ZZ Top too, although even in their earlier Bluesy days they would never have been as laid back as Tom Gilberts on Ass, Gas or Grass is; but Hell; I love this tune.
Listening over the last few days the words ‘cool’ and ‘chilled’ keep springing to mind; and there’s no other words that describe the vibe on another sweet instrumental The North Fork and album closer The Fuzz; which by the standards of what goes before is very nearly a Whig-out!
Phew; what to select as a Favourite Track? Zoot Suit Shuffle combines a head mix of Blues and Jazz licks to give us a lovely toe-tapper; but I think I’m being drawn more and more to the title track Old School as Gilberts’s bottle-neck playing is spell-binding and the song itself ticks every box we have here; for uptempo Classic Blues; so it’s the Winner.
Obviously we all have differing tastes; and there’s nothing wrong with that at all; but today most of the Blues I read about elsewhere is really Rock music masquerading as The Blues; and much of it I like …….. but if you want to go Old School while wanting to discover some real new music from an extraordinary guitarist who can write and sing a damn fine song; then look no further than Tom Gilberts.

Released April 17th 2020
https://www.tomgilberts.com/



Tomas Doncker MOANIN AT MIDNIGHT (The Howlin Wolf Project)

Tomas Doncker
Moanin’ At Midnight (The Howlin Wolf Project)
True Groove

Damn Fine and Imaginative Reworkings of True Blues Classics.

I’d never heard of Tomas Doncker before receiving this album a month ago; and when I read that not only was it a ‘Covers’ Album of Howlin’ Wolf songs coupled to it originally being released in 2014, my heart sank and it was sent to the ‘maybe’ pile.
But ……… my magic I-Phone did its business again last Saturday night when I was driving in the middle of a storm and Spoonful slithered out of the car speakers like a Black Mamba; and sounded just as dangerous and frightening!
YOWZA!
So; it was straight back to the beginning and Doncker’s contemporary re-working of Evil; mixing straight up Chicago Blues with a heady New Orleans Voodoo groove …… man this song alone turned all of my preconceptions on their head.
When I first looked at the sleeve notes I thought “who needs another version of Killing Floor and Smokestack Lightning?”
Well; my friend it appears that I did; and you do too.
When I was an itty bitty teenager and heard Cream’s version of Spoonful and the Stones’s Little Red Rooster I naively believed them to be there own songs; and when I later heard the originals my head spun at the concept that someone could change a song so dramatically.
Which is exactly what Tomas Doncker does here; not a single song sounds like the brilliant originals; and mercifully not like any 60’s or 70’s pastiche either ……. Doncker somehow brings these ancient Classics bang up to date with his imaginative arrangements; without ever losing the excitement or beauty of the Wolf’s originals.
For this ‘Deluxe Edition’ release there are four added tracks, with spectacular live versions of Smokestack Lightning and Back Door Man plus one of Doncker’s own songs; Shook Down which sits very neatly in this package and you can tell what it’s been influenced by.
There’s also a weird Dub Mix of Moanin’ At Midnight too ……… which may or may not stand repeated plays (just sayin).
Which neatly brings me to my Favourite Track; Tomas Doncker’s inspired reworking of Moanin’ At Midnight, which owes a lot to the original but is as sharp and dirty as 21st Century Blues gets, adding whizzes, sizzles and groans to one of the greatest songs in the history of The Blues.
There’s absolutely nothing for Blues purists to get their knickers in a twist here; but this is primarily aimed at open-minded music lovers who ain’t afraid of ‘change’ ………. as I said earlier; if it wasn’t for the British Blues Bands of the 1960’s experimenting and reworking these songs 50 years ago they would have been consigned to the History books.

Released 3rd April 2020
http://www.tomasdoncker.net/

Sonny Landreth BLACK TOP RUN


Sonny Landreth
Blacktop Run
Provogue Records

More Great Slide Guitar and More, From the Master.

Sonny Landreth has been making great music for as long as I can remember. While never hitting the mainstream; his name always popped up in friends and music journalists ‘best of’ lists and over the years he has played with so many big namesincluding Marshall Crenshaw , Eric Clapton and John Hiatt, plus he has many awards and was even Grammy nominated on two occasions, even though sadly, he didn’t win.
I don’t think this album will surprise any fans or anyone who even knows his music slightly. More zydeco influenced blues and always great playing. The album kicks off with the title track. A country/bluegrass riff opens us up to a tale of the open road.
Then Lover Dance With Me has a rocking beat and, obviously, some great playing too; plus what sounds like some mighty fine Hammond organ kicking in on this track too. 
Track three – Mule – has some great slide playing and sounds like a song about unrequited love, and a lazy mule! (But that may be a metaphor).
Another instrumental comes up next with a great riff and some very cool soloing and yet more lovely Hammond organ too; Groovy Goddess definitely has some plenty of groovy goodness. 
The album’s tempo comes right down on the ballad Somebody Gotta Make A Move. The narrator telling a tale of love gone wrong and his surprise that his love didn’t even realise they were past their ‘sell by date’.
Beyond Borders is another instrumental that hits the groove right from the off, with some lovely electric piano solo in the middle of this one.
Country blues slide is where we go on the next song, and a zydeco riff holds the song together, although Landreth’s beautiful country slide playing gives this a real feel good groove.
Next up is Wilds Of Wonder – a mid tempo rocker which to my ears at least has a seventies feel to it. I think it must be that wonderful Hammond organ again, that gives that sense of timelessness. A great song and nice vocal performance, and possibly a different sound to the rest of the album, at least until the sweet guitar solo.
Another instrumental  – Many Worlds – gives us a relaxed late night feel with some more lovely guitar playing taking us to the last song album on the album. 
The closer is another ballad with what sounds like the story of yet another failed love….. I know; this IS the Blues after all.  
Something Grand is not only the final song, but exactly what this album is all about. You know exactly  what you are going to get with Mr Landreth and this album doesn’t disappoint or really surprise in any way. Always beautifully played and as the old saying goes, ‘if it’s not broken, then don’t fix it’.

Released February 21st 2020
https://www.sonnylandreth.com/
https://www.mascotlabelgroup.com/sonny-landreth

Review by Ace photographer, Mr. Chris Harrison
http://www.chrisharrisonphoto.co.uk/

Ben Poole Trio LIVE 19

Ben Poole Trio
Live 19
Self-Release

Young British Blues Rocker Comes of Age on Exciting Double Live Album.

Most regular readers know of my love of The Blues in just about every format imaginable; and also my desire to promote the great and the good among British exponents to the outside world, as well as those lonely men and women who haul their guitar case across the highways and by-ways: Plymouth on a Monday night, Aberdeen on a Tuesday and then Norwich on the Wednesday.
When I first came across Ben Poole he was just on the verge of leaving the latter category and is now firmly in the former camp being both a great singer-guitarist and a good guy.
I’m not normally a lover of Live Albums; especially in this category as it wouldn’t be the first time someone I admire for filling their studio albums full of 4 and 5 minute belters get a tad self-indulgent on-stage.
But; Guitar lovers and Rockers alike can be assured that there are more than enough guitar solos here to satisfy their cravings; but song lovers like me are indulged too, with Poole’s fine penmanship probably being allowed to overshadow his marvelous fretwork on most songs; even the 8, 11, 14 and 15 minute long tracks.
It’s no surprise that most of the tracks here come from his last two albums; as it was recorded in July 2019; but there are a couple of juicy oldies tucked away for the long serving fraternity.
Following a very brief intro the band get off to a growling start with Take It No More and already you know you are in for a treat.
Being a Live Album there’s a glorious rawness to many songs; with a personal favourite Win You Over now maturing like a fine wine and Found Out The Hard Way somehow seems even more intimate than the album version, to me.
Start The Car; from the same album really finds drummer extraordinaire Wayne Procter and bassist Steve Amadeo on fine form as Poole sings as if his heart could break at any moment.
That powerhouse duo are the spine that allows the singer-guitarist go meandering on Anytime You Need Me and Time Might Never Come which close the set; coming in at just shy of half an hour when played together; but even I haven’t got bored listening to them (yet).
Another elongated song is the exquisite cover of Have You Ever Loved a Woman; and I swear there’s not a wasted note from any of the trio in the 11 and a half minutes of transcendental Blues-Soul which builds and builds to a crashingly luxurious ending that had even me head-banging in the car!
Where to go for an actual Favourite Song?
Further On Down The Line is a doozy; as is his take on Jeff Healey’s I Think I Love You Too Much; which is another song Poole has allowed to grow and develop over the years; and Dirty Laundry now sounds like it’s fast becoming his Trademark song; but I’m going for Don’t Cry For Me; where the band come together as one and for me; it’s Poole’s finest vocal performance across two glorious albums of quality British Blues Rock that will not just surprise but impress American Blues fans (and promoters?)
PS
The album was recorded over three nights in July 2019 at the Old Schoolhouse in Barnsley, The Half Moon in South London and Bootleggers in Kendal, Cumbria.

Released January 31st 2020
http://benpooleband.com/
Pre-Order here http://benpooleband.com/product/trio-live-19-double-live-album-pre-order