There’s been an awful lot of music competing for attention on the Blues Enthused playlist recently. But here are a few selections that you really should try to get your ears around sometime soon.
King King – ‘Rush Hour (Radio Remix)’
Looking forward to seeing King King on their upcoming tour, and with this new single they should get some decent airplay to go with it. It’s actually a radio edit, with about 45 seconds judiciously trimmed from the album version. But the mix also brings Alan Nimmo’s vocals further to the fore, and gives some extra oomph to Wayne Proctor’s drums. Possibly not of huge interest to long-standing fans, except on a completist basis, but if you’re not familiar with King King yet then: (a) where have you been? And (b) check out this video, and get on board!
Tommy Castro & The Painkillers – Method To My Madness
If you like Mike Zito & The Wheel (and their Keep Coming Back was probably my favourite album of 2015), then this should be right up your street. There’s a strong seam of Creedence-like 60s rock’n’roll, driven along by varied rhythms from Bowen Brown, as on the opening track 'Common Ground'. There’s also some great blues, infusions of funk, and tinges of country, while the laid back ‘Ride’ sounds like a drive with the top down on a sultry night in NOLA.
Rebecca Downes – Believe
I happened to give Downes’ first album, Back To The Start, a listen just recently, and thought to myself, “This isn’t half bad”. The same applies to this follow-up. It kicks off in a satisfying groove, with some nice playing and stinging guitar to back up Miss D as she unwraps her tonsils. There are some pretty good songs on show too, often in a soulful, funky vein, but also taking in the good-time break-up song ‘1000 Years’, and the smoky ‘Could Not Say No’.
Wily Bo Walker & E D Brayshaw – Stone Cold Beautiful
With his deep, rumbling voice, I can imagine that Walker is aiming for a Tom Waits vibe. He doesn’t quite have the poetry for that, but this is still an evocative collection of songs, with a cinematic quality to the stories and imagery. The music is a good fit too, reminding me of Chris Rea in ‘Road To Hell’ mode, with Brayshaw’s piercing guitar work the icing on the cake from start to finish. They like to spread themselves too – just six songs across about 40 minutes – but there’s not a minute wasted. Here, though, is the relatively short 'Motel Blues'