I’m never going to be a full time Pro reviewer but I thought it would be an idea to collect some reports of some of the albums I get sent. So below is just such a collection, most of which will have appeared in the main news pages first, along with the album cover images. If you would like to send any music for review, find all the details on the ‘About Blues Train’ page.
The Dalton Gang‘s Last Raid are a duo from Sydney – Dane-O – Geeetar Doer and Kuz Kuzington- Skins Thumper [ their own descriptions! ] and they describe their music on Facebook as “We are a Foot Stompin, Skins Hittin, Axe Strummin, Bank Robbin, Knee Knockin wanna be Cowboy Bluesy, Hillbilly, Hard Rock thing”. On first listen of their EP, this describes them perfectly. If you like your blues [ in the broadest terms ] to be edgy and raw, then you really should check them out.
The opening track is an instrumental, titled as a ‘rude word’! before ‘Hooker, Lines and Sinker’ starts fairly low key before the vocals kick in, although again, the chorus is quite melodic. You can probably guess from the title that it’s not really a love song though! One surprise is a quiet, almost psychedelic solo which then proceeds a noisy end bit.
‘East Clintwood’ is a cool title and begins with a mid-paced riff which you can imagine came about during a good old fashioned jamming session. A nice harp blast proceeds some ‘wigging out’ on the guitar! Next track is ‘Epar Nosrip’ which you may guess has a more controversial topic and is suitably aggressive and raw. I guess this one might not be for everyone! But the riff and slide solo are very good. The last track of this EP is ‘Station Blues 11’ and is a laid back track initially, before launching into another slide session as a bridge. Probably my favourite tune.
This kind of raw blues isn’t always easy listening to some but there are some great ideas on the EP and a great noise for two people to make! Hopefully they can progress the music and maybe tone down a couple of the subjects in order to appeal to a wider audience. Although, maybe, this kind of music isn’t really meant for the masses and sits quite happily slightly underground. I would like to thank Kuz for his contact and his patience while I put this review together. If you click on the image above, you will be taken to their Facebook page, so please do so and see what you think!
RON SAYER JR
Ron Sayer Jr. ‘Better Side’ Album Review“As a blues jock, I am privileged to be sent a whole load of new music. One of the best things to come home to is a new CD; makes a change from the bills! The law of averages means that not every album is going to pass the test, mainly down to personal preferences – however, one recent arrival was an unexpected discovery.
Ron Sayer Jr was a new name to me so I wasn’t sure what to expect when I put the CD into my laptop. What happened next was that I found one of the best albums to arrive recently. It certainly stands up against any of the so-called bigger name releases I have received and I would seriously recommend the album to anyone.
The main selling point for me is the variety of the tracks and the consistently high standards of playing. Something for everyone!
Beginning with the up-tempo funky style of Bad Thing, the second track is Rons’ personal favourite, I Ain’t Leaving, which slows things down a bit and features some tasty guitar work. The punchy Don’t Make Me Stay is followed by Manana, another funky and fun track.
Right All The Time is a bit of a rocker and for me, the main riff could have come from someone like Thunder; I can definitely see this one as a live favourite. You Can Cry is the midway point and leads to my favourite track; as a fan of toe tappers, Piece Of Me truly hits the spot. You will definitely hear this one on Blues Train at some point!
Your Pleasure, My Pain has a slower groove and some tasty organ; the band members Andy Robinson, Clive H Jones and Paul Wooden play terrifically throughout and certainly lay a solid base for Ron to show his skills. The old Etta James track My Mother In Law is next and allows Ron and his ‘other half’ Charlotte to interact nicely, she has a great voice and its a fun tune.
On to the final straight now, with Little White Lies coming up next, another funky blues tune, with a cool guitar solo; What Would You Do? being fairly laid back and leading into the final offering, Baby Blue which features one of my favourite guitar breaks on the album.
As a mostly self written album, this is a very strong release. Being sent so much music means I sometimes don’t get the chance to fully digest everything but this is one CD I will definitely be keeping in touch with!”
Dave Watkins, Blues Train, FromeFM
JON AMOR BLUES GROUP
Jon Amor is well known round these parts! Although from over the border in Devizes, he has been a regular visitor to Frome over the years – indeed, recently playing two solo acoustic dates here and visiting the FromeFM studio to record an interview with yours truly too! Now back in full band mode, the debut full length ‘Jon Amor Blues Group’ CD is due for release on the 19th September. Click the image above to be directed to their website with details on how to buy. They will also be appearing at a Blues Night at Frome Rugby Club on October 28th.
Some of the tracks on this album have been available as a free download EP previously, although I believe the album versions are newly re-recorded and mixed. Opening up with ‘Holy Water’, an uptempo track full of spiking guitars, a nice simple way to start. Next, something from the mentioned EP, with ‘Juggernaut’, which sounds just like something that big! A great, repeated riff anchors the track and some nice drumming sounds throughout make this a great tune. ‘Make It Your Trouble’ follows and as well as a cool title, is a cool song with a great guitar break.
‘Repeat Offender’ is another previous EP track, with an almost familiar blues riff it’s selling point and quite a dirty sounding chorus, this one will sound great live. Next up is ‘Sweetheart’, almost a pop song, very catchy – you can hear this one now on their website. Track six sees the shortest song, ‘Angel In A Black Dress’, quite an aggressive sounding vocal and sound before ‘The Underdogs’ comes along, with its fantastic guitar riff and spot on tempo. This is definitely one of my favourites on the whole album.
Then we come to the big slow blues sound of ‘When The Time Comes’, all 6 minutes and 32 seconds of it. Again, the drums sound great on this one, they captured the sound perfectly. Another stand out moment. From that one, to perhaps the ‘maddest’ song on the album, one we have played on Blues Train previously – ‘She Thought I Was An Eagle’ – a frantic tempo until the part near the end that just cry’s out for an audience to join in with some ‘woh-wohs’! I love this track. The big ending comes with ‘You Know It’s Only Love’, which has been previewed already on YouTube at the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yD-AA4wzRlQ&feature=youtu.be&hd=1 . Once more, the sound of the song is nailed on, very cool guitar and another catchy tune to round things off superbly.
This is a highly recommended album for you to invest in. What is great about the whole project, is that this band are right here on our doorstep and are as good as anything else you are likely to find elsewhere. Many thanks to Jon for sending me the advance copy and for all his support for the show and FromeFM in general!
VIRGIL AND THE ACCELERATORS
A band that have made a great big huge wobbly SPLASH on the blues rock scene over the last month or so, are Virgil and the Accelerators. The new CD, ‘The Radium’, is one of the best I have been sent recently and it was immediately put into the car CD player to play full blast! Opening track, Working Man, start fairly traditionally, before an awesome guitar riff kicks in and a great rocking blues rock track follows. The next couple of tracks are immediate blasts of uptempo rocking – the song ‘Backstabber’ has made it into various radio playlists I believe. ’88′ is a very cool song, one of the bluesiest on the CD. Low Down and Dirty is perhaps the centre piece of the album, in the middle and epic. Some more cool rockers are up next before the amazing end song, Silver Giver, around eight minutes of thrilling instrumental guitar.
This is one band that can cross over several genres and appeal to blues, rock and general music fans. Please check the website out and see where you can find the band across the UK very soon. And buy the CD while you are there!