But this album is intriguingly, refreshingly different. What we have here is no straight ahead blues rock set. Notably, McKellar has been given something of a leg up by means of appearances with Joe Bonamassa. But anyone expecting her to serve up a homage to the ubiquitous Mr B is likely to be disappointed, subject to the occasional nod in his direction such as the slabs of guitar on 'Until The Sun Comes Up'.
|Well good day to you, Ms McKellar!|
The overall effect is a kind of "blues-prog", which obliquely calls to mind a band like Flying Colors, though less florid. There are interesting guitar tones here, and space for the keyboards to feature clearly without straying into noodling. In fact it's noticeable that McKellar disdains virtuoso guitar solos most of the time, in favour of instrumental textures. There are variations though, such as the Purple-ish organ swells and Hendrixy guitar fills of 'Home'; the more laid back sound of 'Avenue E', vaguely reminiscent of Deacon Blue in more messed up mode á la Whatever You Say I'm Not . . . ; or 'The City', which emerges from squally territory akin to Them Crooked Vultures before weaving in more melodic passages. Or even the chorus of 'Preaching Lies', which drops out of a stomping rhythm section to conjure up the sweetness of Smokey Robinson's 'My Girl'.
There's nothing here that really soars, or lands a knockout punch, and the quality levels certainly aren't sustained over all 14 tracks - the last couple don't really add much to the equation. But these are the first steps in an adventure for Eilidh McKellar that will hopefully unfold successfully. It's a set that scores high on technique, if perhaps less so on heart. And that's okay for a youngster who has yet to live her life.