House of Mercy
added: 5 May 2012
// release date: 5 May 2012 // label: Self issued
reviewer: Andy Snipper
I like Bex Marshall. Quite apart from the voice and some very fine guitar playing I like the way that she happily works in any form that suits her – so long as its Blues.
The title track, ‘House of Mercy’ is full of steamy gospel as well as eerie fiddle and her full-throated bellow against some superb resonator guitar, steamy Hammond and driving, funky rhythm – this one cooks gumbo!
She can also do simple as she does on ‘Bite Me’ – no shortage of heat but just Bex on lead and backing vocals and Resonator with Steve Lockwood on harmonica creating a bayou mood . Her voice is raw and full and when she spits out “Bite me, you can suck my blood” a small chill goes down the neck.
She plays most of the lead guitar here and all the lead vocals and, having seen her live in a solo slot, I can attest that she doesn’t need backing musicians – but she has some good ones here and they take the music to another level. Names like BJ Cole, Steve Lockwood, Danny Bryan and Toby Baker are dotted all over the album but it shows the strength of ms Marshall that she isn’t overshadowed by some serious talent.
I really enjoyed ‘Rattlesnake’ with skittering percussion from Crispin Taylor, stand up bass from Barry Payne and some lovely slide resonator – a nice and lazy feeling to the track.
I really enjoy an album that is obviously played for the enjoyment of it, songs that have been honed through many live performances and a ‘Bite Me’ attitude – Bex Marshall hits all of the stops with this one.
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