Andy Sharrocks and the Smokin’ Jackets are one of those bands who are always there at the edge of perception but never ‘trendy’ or close enough to the zeitgeist to be stars in their own right – rather they do their own thing, enjoy playing some great music and telling it their way and all the better for it.

The music falls into a loose Americana/Roots groove but they have their own identity and no-one would describe them as soundalikes to any of the other bands playing that genre.

Sharrocks has gathered his usual cast of characters - The Reverent Paul Green, Husky Jack, Matt Ord & Capt. Bliss from Hey Negrita! , Kid Caswell, Kofi Kari Kari and Phil Dobben plus the excellent John T on acoustic bass –all talented and original players and the easy and unstressed way that the album was recorded seems to have brought out their very individual talents. It also suits the music extremely well and makes for a fine hour’s pleasure.

A few of the numbers have been staples of the Smokin’ Jackets live set for a while – ‘Davey’s Blues’ and ‘Lifetime Guarantee’ are superb examples of the bands live set – and the new numbers fit in just as well. Sharrocks would never describe his voice as smooth - ‘gruff’’ or even ‘rough’ would be more accurate - but it isn’t without charm and on ‘Davey’s Blues’, the lament of a Traveller locked up in a static jail cell, his drawl perfectly fits the song.

All through the album the music sounds as though it is being played with a smile and good heart and this draws out a fair few excellent performances. ‘Ballad Of A Dying Man’ is pure country Blues with some fine Paul Green guitar and ‘Dirt’ itself features some gorgeous acoustic guitar from Matt Ord.

This isn’t an album for musical purists but anyone who enjoys music while enjoying a jar or two is going to feel right at home with the stories and situations in these songs – ‘Waste Some Time’ is a chat up line as a song or ‘Ain’t Getting My Share’ sums up most of our feelings at one time or another - and with the music as well.

The band just finished a tour supporting John Mayall and they will probably have won themselves a lot of new friends along the way – this album demonstrates why Mayall likes them; good fun.