04 March 2022 (released)
28 February 2022
From time to time I come across a band I have heard nothing about, don’t recognize any of the members and have to start from absolute scratch. More often than not, I give a listen to the band and that will be it.
This is the less often travelled path – a band that I want to know as much as I can about and an album that I will be enjoying for a long time to come.
Terraplane Blues Band take their name from a classic Robert Johnson song and play a style of Blues that Johnson would probably recognize (and approve of), although the Delta that characterises this band is more the Severn River Delta than the Mississippi, and, to my ear, they have strong aural links to bands like Dr Feelgood or Stephen Dale Petit, no bad thing, and the British R&B scene of the early sixties.
Nick Scrase is the guitarist and vocalist and he is one of those quintessentially British singers who eschew the US styling in their vocals and show that British R&B doesn’t have to sound like a copy of the American singers. Harp player Eduardo Allen was the co-founder of the band along with Scrase, and his tuneful harmonica is very much at the core of the band’s sound. The rhythm section of Tom Turner (drums) and Andy Wood (bass) create a sparse but ‘on the money’ backing rhythm and the four create a style of Blues that is ever so listenable to and should appeal to anyone who is into Delta Blues, wherever the Delta.
Truth be told, there isn’t really a weak track on the album but the opener ‘Highway 61’, ‘My Malaise’ and ‘Pick Myself Up’ are probably the tracks I enjoyed most and add to them ‘the Ballad Of Ragtime Texas’ with its ragtime piano accompanying.