Rev KM Williams - The Real Deal Blues

Published Thursday 9th August 2018
Rev KM Williams - The Real Deal Blues
Rev KM Williams - The Real Deal Blues

STYLE: Blues
RATING 4 4 4 4
LABEL: Cleopatra

Reviewed by Lins Honeyman

Legend has it that, as a toddler, Texan bluesman Reverend KM Williams first played guitar whilst sitting on the lap of legendary slide guitarist Elmore James before going on to hone his craft by playing in churches, bars and everything in between. Accompanying a short biographical film of the same name, the latest album from Williams sees the man honour his hero by playing a slide-infused set on a homemade diddley bow - a one-stringed instrument made popular in recent years by the likes of Seasick Steve and Glenn Kaiser - and the result is understandably rough and ready. Kicking off with the Johnny Cash-like "Baby, Please Come Home", Williams works his way through a collection of swampy blues numbers that use the same kind of repeated chord structures employed by the likes of Howlin' Wolf and John Lee Hooker whilst tracks like the minor key "That's Why My Baby's Feelin' Blue" and the straight 12 bar of "Shoulda Left This Town Blues" occasionally break the pattern and add some much needed variety to proceedings. Williams' gruff voice suits his material down to the ground although his tendency to mumble and the placing of his vocals quite far back in the mix means the listener has to work hard to decipher what's being sung. Interestingly for an ordained minister of the Christian faith, there doesn't appear to be any gospel blues elements to this release with the apparent endorsement of good loving ("Bad Boy Blues"), evil spirits ("Haunted House"), voodoo ("The Witch Queen Of New Orleans") and fortune telling ("The Runaway Blues") coming across instead. Unfortunately, this album suffers from a murky and distant mix and sounds for all the world like producer Jurgen Engler has simply stuck a microphone outside the closed door of a rehearsal room to capture his subject's performance.

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