STYLE: Blues RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 130554-19538 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Lins Honeyman
The Newport-based Tim Crahart Blues Band pick up where they left off on their 2011 debut album 'No Drinkin' No Cheatin' No Shootin'' with another album of superbly-executed sanctified blues and it's easy to see why they clicked at this year's Greenbelt Festival. Featuring Harvey Philpott on drums, former 3rd Day Rising bassist Andy Long and Crahart himself on vocals and lead guitar, this is nothing short of a masterclass in rough and ready electric blues which mixes Crahart-penned material with gospel blues standards such as a storming rendition of Blind Willie Johnson's "God Don't Never Change" and a Kaiser/Mansfield-influenced version of the traditional "Keep Your Lamp Trimmed". Crahart's own material is uncompromisingly God-focussed with songs such as "Jonah's Blues", the epic title track and "These Bones" all referencing Bible passages - not to mention paraphrasing the odd Dylan album title - whilst the band's delivery seems to embody the spirit and directness of their gospel blues heroes Blind Willie Johnson and Rev Gary Davis. Elsewhere the uplifting "Blues Blues Blues" promotes the hope of Christ's return whilst the dobro-led "The Boneman's Coming" issues a stark warning on the same subject matter. Delightfully, Crahart even has time to dispel the myth that blues music is of the devil and uphold the case for middle class white folks to play the blues in "No Deal On Me" and "The Right" respectively. It is, however, Crahart's no-holds barred vocal performance that steals the show along with his chameleon-like lead guitar skills which sees him flit from stylistically paying homage to guitar legends Peter Green, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Gary Moore and Hendrix whilst maintaining his own identity throughout.
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