Twang by The James Oliver Band
This is The James Oliver Bands debut album and features the guitar twanging blues of James, whatever you do don't call me, Jamie Oliver who used to be in Welsh indie Rock band Glas. Having seen the album title and heard the first couple of tunes I was almost expecting this album to include a cover of The Twangtown Blues by Jason & the Scorchers and it wouldn't have been out of place either.
The album opens with the ironic and cruising sounds of American Cars a good old school blues chugger about how American cars are no longer in style and everyone has Beemers and Saabs etc and of course how the romance has gone out of cars complete with the first stonking solo of the album.
She Was The One is a proper estuary blues only with where James comes from it's more of a valley blues very much in the Wilko Johnson style this speeds along as they tell us why She Was The One.
We then get two Big Joe Turner covers the first of which TV Mama has the classic strolling blues sound down just about right even if James vocals lack some of the deep richness of a southern blues man he more than makes up for it in how good this sounds.
They then do Honey Hush a song that has been covered by so many acts it's almost impossible to make a version that really stands out when you play it as a straight blues like they do here, nothing wrong with this version but it has stiff competition to stand out.
The Missing Link is a good old school western soundtrack blues instrumental that sounds like it will be sound tracking a knife fight in an old saloon somewhere until it goes into rave up mode and goes a little bit Keystone Cops chase music on us.
We then get a twangtastic version of Mean Little Mama that flies along likes she's trying to chase you out of the house with that hammer she keeps threatening you with.
Outside Help feels like that point when someone calls for some real sketchy people to show up and remove a problem it sounds desperate and has a real cool slightly off guitar solo for the Outside help to come and deal with the situation too.
Stay Outta Trouble is in no way the best song on this subject of trying to follow a judges advice to keep out of trouble, this has a bit of a Zydeco feel to it as he tries to stay out of Bars for a week, something that has become a lot easier since this was recorded.
Upside Down Song is a jaunty country blues about well his world being Upside down and wondering when and if things getting a little messy it could really turn your life upside down. This song has a great rave up section when they pretty much double the pace of the song and really go for it.
Clean House starts off like a porch blues before the twanging band come in to Clean House while sounding like an old Chris Spedding blues tune as he makes sure we know who needs to be sent packing.
The album closes with yet another cove of Miserlou a song that Iâ€™m sure always sounds great live and gets everyone going but I must already own over a 100 versions of it, a song truly hard to add anything too, this is a perfectly good and fairly straight take on it.
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