Friday, August 13, 2021

Quickies - Singles from Joanne Shaw Taylor, Jed Potts & The Hillman Hunters, Misty Blues, Wily Bo Walker and E D Brayshaw, and the Curse Of KK Hammond

Today’s Quickies is a round-up of current singles in the blues and roots arena.
Joanne Shaw Taylor – ‘Let Me Down Easy’
Must confess, I wasn’t greatly taken with Joanne Shaw Taylor’s voice on first acquaintance
Joanne Shaw Taylor, not remotely grief-stricken
Pic by Christie Goodwin
several years back, and now and then I still find her enunciation problematic.  But on this version of Little Milton’s ‘Let Me Down Easy’ her husky, soulful vocal works a treat, right from the opening bars over restrained, twinkling guitar notes, soon augmented by low, moaning horns.  When a performance starts to evoke comparisons with James Carr’s ‘Dark End Of The Street’ – and it did for me - then you’re on to something.
Of course, there will be some JST fans more interested in what she’s doing with her guitar, and in this instance she delivers a ringing, wailing outro that suggests the grief of a failed relationship, let down easy or not.  It’s a bit of a dull “in the studio” video, but as far as the song goes – nicely done, Ms Taylor.
‘Let Me Down Easy’ is taken from The Blues Album, Joanne Shaw Taylor’s collection of blues covers produced by Joe Bonamassa and Josh Smith, out on 24 September and available to pre-order here.
Jed Potts & The Hillman Hunters – ‘The Fastest Outlaw’
Scottish singer, songwriter and guitarist Jed Potts has a penchant for a plaid shirt now and then, so it was only a matter of time before his blues mojo led him and his Hillmans to the influence of Rory Gallagher, the original Check Shirt Wizard.
And so here they come with ‘The Fastest Outlaw’, which has the stamp of Rory all over its stuttering, ringing guitar riff and ‘Out On The Western Plain’ lyrical theme.  More impressive still are the passages of slide guitar/vocal harmonising on display – a Gallagher speciality that Potts captures brilliantly.  There a scudding, darting slide solo too, to add icing to the cake on this impressive original tune.
Sure, you could call it imitation-Rory, but an hommage this good isn’t just the sincerest form of flattery, it’s also a testament to the talents of Potts and his rhythm section buddies Jonny Christie on drums and Charlie Wild on bass.
‘The Fastest Outlaw’ is the latest in a series of original singles from Jed Potts & The Hillman Hunters, available now on Bandcamp and all the usual digital platforms.
Misty Blues – 'Take A Long Ride', featuring Joe Louis Walker
Gina Colman - in the red with Misty Blues
To say that Misty Blues lead singer Gina Coleman has a sonorous voice is putting it mildy.  There’s no ignoring her deep, round, gospel-schooled tones as ‘Take A Long Ride’ ships anchor, accompanied by a Free-like undulating riff and horn remarks that add another soulful angle.  Add in a spacey, psychedelic solo from top-flight guest guitar honcho Joe Louis Walker, ending in a squall of feedback, and later a screeching sax solo from Aaron Dean that I at first mistook for Walker having another shot at the title, and this is a pretty beguiling outing by the Massachusetts combo, suggesting they'll be deserving of further listening.
‘Take A Long Ride’ will feature on Misty Blues 11th studio album, One Louder, scheduled for release on Lunaria Records on 28 January 2022.
Wily Bo Walker and E D Brayshaw – ‘What You Gonna Do (Welcome To Voodooville)’
Wily Bo Walker has reunited with guitar-wrangling compadre E D Brayshaw for a new album to be released later this year, and this single is an early trailer.  This is Walker and Brayshaw at the most primitive I’ve heard them, as ‘What You Gonna Do’ opens with tense, nagging acoustic style strumming and foot-stomping, hand-clapping percussion.
There’s less of a narrative here than on much of Walker’s output, but the song still inhabits his favourite noir-ish terrain of sin and consequence, weaving in chain gang clanking and military paradiddles before a searing solo that’s pure Brayshaw.
‘What You Gonna Do (Welcome To Voodooville)’ is taken from the forthcoming album Some People Kill For Passion.
The Curse Of KK Hammond, featuring David And The Devil – 'The Ballad Of Lampshade Ed'
Now and then I trip over this arcane underworld in the British roots music scene, inhabited by folk apparently much taken with the idea of mashing up Edwardian music hall with a demi-monde of freaks, carnies and voodoo from the American South.
And so we have ‘The Ballad Of Lampshade Ed’, a Southern Gothic nursery rhyme penned by the Brothers Grimm after an undocumented tour of revivalist churches in the Appalachians in the 1850s, rediscovered by Tim Burton, and set to music by an English rose with a winsome voice, twanging a Resonator guitar and accompanied by a fella hiding his slide behind an alias.
Actually I made most of that up.  Except the bit about the Brothers Grimm.  But I think you’ll get the idea.

No comments:

Post a Comment