Review: Blindstone – Blues-O-Delic Celebration – A Tribute To The Blues
Grooveyard Records (November 2017)
Reviewer: Dan Mann
The Blindstone boys are back with a brand new album, this time a collection of covers amounting to a tribute to the blues. I know they were a tad nervous about whether they’ve done the thirteen tracks justice, having had chance to listen to the whole album quite a few times here’s my humble opinion of if they hit target or not.
Kicking off the album is a cover of BB King’s ‘Rock Me Baby‘. Now a cover can be two things. A carbon copy of the original or a band’s interpretation. Personally I prefer the latter as it’s interesting to listen to a song from a different angle so to speak. The original is a laid back track, while this is more forward, leaning more to blues rock which actually gives this track some balls!
Second up is ‘Blood Stream‘, originally released by Rocky Hill, brother of ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill. Straight away this grabs you with wailing guitar, and energetic rhythm section, this is Blindstone putting their stamp on it. Being very familiar with the original I’m not disappointed with this rendition.
Next is Freddy King’s ‘Pack It Up‘ covered by Bonamassa on Blues Deluxe which is more of a direct copy but as I said earlier, I prefer things getting a little twist or two. This is once again adding that that distinctive Blindstone blues rock stamp, which makes it more of a foot tapper in my book.
‘Me And My Woman‘ is next on the bill from the criminally underrated Shuggie Otis. The Blindstone version thankfully manages to retain elements of that 70’s New York funk groove with the underlying blues elements.
‘Old School‘ is a track unknown to myself and was originally recorded by the wonderfully named Guitar Shorty. An appropriately named track for sure as it is quite simply old school blues.
The next track ‘Something’s Got A Hold On Me’ is based on the Gales Brothers song which i believe is written by Eugene Gales. A slow blues number, low down and dirty with a wonderful guitar tone. Great stuff indeed.
You can’t really have an album in tribute to the blues without certain artists being covered. And so we have Howlin Wolf’s ‘Built For Comfort‘, a song which I’ve always loved for it’s lyrics. Blindstone have transformed it into what sounds like early ZZ Top, so another box ticked for me.
I’m really enjoying the selection of artists being covered on this album, people not normally covered. The next track is Leslie West’s ‘By The River‘, another southern soaked blues rock extravaganza which sounds more full bodied than the original, not to knock the original mind in any way.
Having mentioned that ‘Little Old Band From Texas’ ZZ Top earlier we now arrive at a cover of the band’s ‘Bar-B-Q‘, originally to be found on Rio Grande Mud. Martin has nailed the sound of Billy Gibbons’ guitar. Just over three minutes of musical bliss.
The next cover version is of Slim Harpo’s ‘Finger On The Trigger‘. I can see why this appears as the original is quite a funky blues number and I know Martin is rather partial to a bit of funky guitar.
We re-visit the legendary BB King with ‘The Blues Come Over Me‘, the guitar riff just gets your foot tapping and your hand starts to wander into air guitar mode!
Slowing things right down is our next number ‘Stone Crazy‘. Again from a blues legend, Mr Buddy Guy. Blindstone have for want of a better phrase, thickened out the sound, giving it almost some angst, but not taking away the essence of the song.
I’m not in the slightest bit surprised which artist is being covered on the last track on the album. Blindstone wouldn’t be Blindstone without some Jimi Hendrix in the mix somewhere!
The Hendrix track chosen to close is ‘Hey Joe‘. Well I’ve never heard the band do a poor job when it comes to playing anything by Hendrix and this is no exception. What’s really great is Martin’s son Magnus Andersen and Jens Andersen, his dad, are both guesting on guitar.
To sum up, if your already a Blindstone fan then you’ll most certainly enjoy the album. If you want to hear a covers album that isn’t covers by number then this is the album for you.