30 June 2018 (released)
30 June 2018
The Blues Band are one of those great British institutions that seem to existed unaltered since the dawn of time. In their case the dawn of time was Manfred Mann, The John Dummer Blues band and John Lee Hooker but they actually formed as a band in 1979, very much against the grain of the times which was mainly punk, new wave and the early NWOBHM movement.
‘The Rooster Crowed’ is their 21st album (including many live) and it sees the band very much still in the groove.
The lineup these days is Paul Jones (vocals & harmonica), Dave Kelly (Vocals & slide guitar), Tom McGuinness (Vocals & guitar), Rob Townshend (Drums) & Gary Fletcher (bass) plus the excellent Paddy Milner helping out on keyboards and by dint of switching around on lead vocals from track to track and nearly 50 years average experience, they manage to play in a number of different forms ranging from classic Blues through western swing Blues and with a little honky tonk thrown in for fun.
There are a few tracks that really deserve special mention: ‘Peace – Don’t You Worry’ has Jones on vocal & harp and strikes up a dark groove with a martial beat while Muddy Waters ‘Still A Fool’ gets taken down into the swamps with a deep and steamy feel – Jones light touch on the harmonica is particularly good. ‘Get Right Church’ has a real soulful and gospel feel to it.
The quality of their playing is unquestioned but I couldn’t help feeling that they occasionally seem to be ploughing a furrow that isn’t quite in the current field but this is still damn good to listen to.