Saturday, November 15, 2014

Debi DossDebi Does (Own Label)

You may not recognise the name but Debi Doss but you have almost certainly heard her voice. She sang the female parts on the Buggles classic, Video Killed The Radio Star and was a backing singer for The Kinks amongst many others. These two bands feature heavily on this EP, with an acoustic, folksy version of Video Killed The Radio Star opening things, followed by two Ray Davies Songs, Waterloo Sunset and Nothing Lasts Forever. Crisp, clear vocals set the scene for both, with the well-known former the better song. The latter will not set the heather on fire but Debbie has a calming voice and the song just drifts along in the background. She also includes two of her own compositions, the French language Je Chante being the first. This is a strange one, why French? It’s pleasant enough although Eurovision is not far from the surface. She finishes with the poignant Fly High (Part 1) which was composed in tribute to her nephew who tragically drowned earlier this year.

Debi has spent a number of years in the background but this EP shows that she deserves to be out in the spotlight.

David Blue

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Chris While and Julie Matthews are back with a classy album.

Chris While and Julie MatthewsWho We Are (Fat Cat)


Who We Are is the ninth studio album from the former Albion Band stalwarts. It’s a combination of Folk, Country and Americana with many of the songs blending each of the three. Opening with the energetic Americana fused Folk of If This Was Your Last Day, While and Matthews remind us what it feels like to just get up there are play from your heart. Country music is a thread through the gentle Gone Girl Gone, Mad Men and That’s Not Who We Are. Songs such as the contemporary Country Get Through This Somehow and the bouncy Americana I Don’t Know confirm that they are every bit as good as their American counterparts. They’d certainly be more noticed if they were from the other side of the pond and both of these would not be out of place in The Grand Ol’ Opry and the like. Special mention for Howard Lees on electric guitar.

It’s not all Americana based however with Dancing Under The Gallows, a tribute to Alice Hertz Sommer, the oldest survivor of the Holocaust, who died earlier this year aged 111. This blend of Folk and Country is extremely thought provoking, a fitting tribute and a lovely song overall. Heaven Is Changing is another that shows them as a bridge between Folk and Country. This has gentle sounds with the piano sounding like the pitter-patter of raindrops at times. Drop Hammer is about the women who kept the steel coming in Sheffield during the World Wars. It’s a classy contemporary Folk with a small choir of Yorkshire factory girls. A Capella in the main with just a little percussion to represent the factory sounds. Another war themed song is the stirring White Feather, this being based on the White Feather movement. This will cause debates between those that hear it and I’m sure that there will be those that have strong thoughts on both sides of the fence. They close with the whimsical Under A Button Moon.

If you like Folk, Country or Americana then there’s something in here for all of you.

David Blue.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Blues N TroubleTry Anything Twice (Moonbeam Music).

BB King once said that Blues N Trouble are the best white Blues band in the world. No pressure there, then! From the Scottish new town of Livingston and led by well-known UK singer/harmonica player Tim Elliott, Blues N Trouble are back with eight original songs and five classic covers of high quality. There’s a live feel to the recording and many of the tracks must have been completed in one session. Highlights are the talking harmonica Blues of Bye Bye Bird, the Bo Diddley inspired Cadillac and the grinding Blues Rock of You Can’t Hit A Woman. This is a top class album and won’t look out of place in any serious Blues fan’s collection.


David Blue.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Candye Kane (Featuring Laura Chavez)Coming Out Swingin’ (Vizztone).

Candye Kane is known as ‘The Toughest Girl Alive’ and her two decade spanning career has seen its ups and downs. Comin’ Out Swingin’ is one of the highs with 13 diverse songs covering Blues (Comin’ Out Swingin’, Invisible Woman), Rock N Roll (Darling Baby, You Ain’t All That and I’m The Reason Why), Cajun (Au Revoir Y’All), Boogie (Marijuana Boogie) and Rockabilly (I Wanted You To Walk). Highlights are the sultry Invisible Woman, the gritty vocal of Darling Baby and the uptempo I’m The Reason Why. There are elements of Fairground Attraction on When Tomorrow Comes and Caro Emerald on Rock Me To Sleep. Certainly worth a listen.

David Blue.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Federal CharmFederal Charm (Mystic Records).

Manchester’s Federal Charm has released a debut album that befits a true Rock band. This is a joy from start to finish and classic Rock themes abound from Too Blind To See, the stinging and throbbing Reaction and Any Other Day. Their Blues influences appear on The Stray and the rocking I’m Not Gonna Beg. They are explosive (Gotta Give It Up, Tell Your Friends), smouldering (Reconsider) and electric (No Money Down). Highlights are the slow burning Somebody Help Me and the ultra-quick There’s A Light. Vocalist Nick Bowden and guitarist Paul Bowe are top notch and live performances will be electric.

David Blue.

Live Dates:

November 6 -- Wolverhampton Robin 2
November 10 -- Blues Splash, The Ritz Manchester with Walter Trout
November 16 -- Caerphilly Patriot Club
November 21 -- Chislehurst Beaverwood
November 22 Sutton Boom Boom Club
November 29 -- Aylesbury Limelight Club

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Dana FuchsBliss Avenue (Ruf Records).

This is Fuchs’ third album and follows 2011’s Love To Beg. Opening with the eponymous title track, a rough and ready Blues Rock with Janis Joplin vocal, she rips through 12 original songs. She’s not a one trick pony and changes style with ease; there’s Country (Rodents In The Attic, Daddy’s Little Girl, Nothin’ On My Mind), Rock (Vagabond Wind, How Did Things Get This Way) and Blues (Handful Too Many). Despite her songs rarely sticking strictly to one genre, one constant is her gravelly voice and this is used to best effect on Livin’ On A Sunday, How Did Things Get This Way and Baby Love The Life.

David Blue.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Oli BrownSongs From The Road (Ruf Records).

Culled from three superb studio albums, this has Oli in front of his hometown crowd. It brings out his best and believe me he is one of the best.  Speechless and Next Girl personify raw power but it is Love Is Taking It’s Toll where the trio flower. Pulsing bass, crashing cymbals and Oli’s lightning fingers provide a highlight. Lengthy solos are provided on Mr Wilson and Manic Bloom but it’s not all power as the strolling Devil In Me and Stone Cold show but his whipping, ripping guitar is never too far away. Credentials confirmed as a live act with Thinking About Her and You Can Only Blame Yourself.

David Blue.