Big Wolf Band have been building a growing reputation on the UK & European scene for a few years, delivering some very tasty Blues/Rock. Zoe Green has also been a stalwart of the scene for a few years now and has a great soulful delivery, in some ways reminiscent of Janis but cut through with a ballsy delivery that makes her very special indeed. Finding the two working together seems less a marriage than a natural extension to each other’s talents – you really can’t see the join.
Big Wolf Band’s natural environment is live and their combination of guitar & Keyboards lays the ground for all of their music, even on record they sound as though they are jamming around that axis and it is a large part of what has made them so successful as a headline band as well as supporting a cast of thousands – including Elles Bailey and Ben Poole. Zoe Green is also a natural live performer, playing a stack of shows as part of the ‘Ladies Of The Blues’ tour, a lot of headline slots as ZGB.
So, musically, this is a natural mix of Blues & Soul but it feels to me as though Big Wolf Band add some steel to Zoe Green’s music and, in turn, she gives a natural focus to the Big Wolf Band that really brings the best out of them.
The opener ‘Walk In My Shoes’ really sets you up for the album as a whole. The Hammond is swirling over the solid rhythm section and guitar comes creaming in before the vocal just takes the song by the scruff of its neck. The freedom to play is all there but her vocal just brings a sense of focus.
Their sound covers a wide history of the Blues touching base with Freddie King, Peter Green and even Alvin Lee but Green’s vocal gives the sound real individuality.
My personal favourite track is ‘Heavy Load’ with a truly heavy sound and some great harmonising between Zoe & Jon but ‘Loving Like A Fool’ shows that they can handle the passionate stuff just as well.
A really fine collaboration and one of the better Blues albums of a very good year.