31 March 2018 (released)
06 April 2018
For years Ruf Records have been showcasing artists via the ‘Blues Caravan’ shows and a lot of today’s stars – such as Ian Parker, Aynsley Lister, Dani Wilde, Samantha Fish – have had their first real outings there.
The 2017 crop was no different: the three performers are all accomplished in their own right but gained from being offered the opportunity to play with musicians very different to themselves.
I have heard Si Cranstoun before, of course. He is quite the fixture in the UK soul and vintage R&B scene and his tracks on here such as ‘All Around The World’ or his own ‘Coup De Ville’ come over here with a real blast, no small amount of groove and his blistering voice really leading the way.
Vanessa Collier I had heard of but not heard before this but her voice is sassy and her sax playing is superb – her solo tracks are excellent but she also adds backing vocals and some great sax on ‘Coup De Ville’.
Big Daddy Wilson comes from a long history of Bluesmen and he has picked up a number of awards since his debut in 2009. He opens the album with a wonderful rendition of ‘Unchain My Heart’ – a deep and pure voice, loaded with resonance and delivery in the classic manner. If hard Blues is your thing then ‘Cross Creek Road’ is right there. He tells stories but his delivery and his voice paint pictures that back up the tales and put you there.
All this is backed up by a shit-hot band including the estimable Roger Innis on bass.
The three of them together are very different but I have to say that I really didn’t want the music to end and the combination of styles and sounds makes for a terrific listen.