British explorer gets old blues renovated and modern ones dusted down in a good company.
Local scene seems to be teeming with talent on the Staffordshire/Cheshire border, so when bassist Chris Bevington decided to record an album, after many a year of playing in the area, there was a team to turn what could be a parochial effort into a blistering set of blues. With no originals on display, the band exercise a carte blanche approach to select Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Walter Trout pieces throwing in a couple of classics for good measure to reveal the real extent of their power. So while there’s a mighty groove to “Dark Side Of Love” where the vocal roar and guitar twang courtesy of FM’s Jim Kirkpatrick is helped by female backing, it’s “I Don’t Need No Doctor” that offers a genuine, if unhurried, action.
Yet though Jude Cole’s “Heart Of Blues” plunges a heavy riff, abetted with a sensual beat from 10CC’s Paul Burgess, into a spiritual soil, “Crossroads” fails to shed the overall gloss for a tight chug and chase the Devil away the way “Blue On Black” does. Still, Buddy Guy’s “She’s Out There Somewhere” rocks deliciously wild, but “All I Want Is You,” also smoothed with harmonica and organ, taps into sweet sadness wrapped into an acoustic lace, only to let “Was” off the slide-rolled leash. And when Albert Cummings’ “Party Right Here,” sprinkled with piano, brings it all to a close, a celebratory mood stays on. Point made, all Chris has to do now is to follow this up with a material of his own.