Artist: David Lumsden Album Title: Rooted In The Blues Release: 2022 This ten song set jumps right into it with a clear cut vision of delivering a diverse set of blues based music. It is the variety of the record that grabbed me at first listen. The band moves from Chuck Berry influenced rock and roll into straight blues and everything in between. This is a blues outfit that is rooted in the classic sound, but unafraid to venture away from the blues stable to display considerable musical depth. I find myself drawn the most to the handful of instrumental cuts. It is always interesting to hear a guitar based band stretch on the instrumentals as opposed to a brief solo in between verses. What this band does masterfully in the instrumental format is they simply don't overstay their welcome and become self indulgent. The songs are concise and effective. They get the point across without becoming overbearing and repetitive. Exercising restraint instead of flaunting needless displays of chops.
There are a couple of very unexpected tracks that I really enjoyed. An instrumental version of the Steely Dan classic Josie is definitely not what I was expecting to hear on a blues record, but somehow it sits perfectly in the mix of the album. It is well played and a gutsy move that pays off. Another unexpected standout is an acoustic instrumental titled Your Memory. It feels like a hidden gem that would be found on an Allman Brothers record. It reminded me a bit of Angie by The Rolling Stones as well. Just like the bulk of the album the guitar is the clear voice on this one, featuring a beautiful melody that could not have been played better or emoted more.
There are a handful of familiar covers that are served up quite well. My favorite being a very funky version of Hound Dog. The drums add a slippery vibe with a snare hit on the and of four that makes the whole thing quite slinky. The band is locked and loaded on this one with a sweaty organ line that pushes it toward flirting with the NOLA vibe.
On the blues standard Every Day I Have The Blues it is clear that this outfit can swing and shuffle as well as anyone. This version of the classic song feels like something you may hear on a Robben Ford release with a hint of Stevie Ray Vaughan in the rhythm guitar approach, but with a guitarist that is more influenced by the British greats of the late 60's like Clapton than perhaps a traditional approach. As a whole this record is a pleasing mix of songs that display a very competent band that I am sure will turn any roadhouse into a party.
Clocking in at just under 37 minutes makes for a very enjoyable solid set that never fatigues the listener. Gritty vocals, solid arrangements, cool covers and some unexpected turns make for a great listen. If you like a blues band that is pushing the boundaries without straying too far from the source you will really enjoy this release.