Blues Matters 15

The blues has many faces, and it is just possible that in the land of the gods it has gained a new expression. Many a traditionalist may find this approach difficult to appreciate, but those who worship at a broader church could find much to admire.

This is very much a solo album, with Paul holding all writing credits, as well as providing vocals, guitars, keyboards, harmonica and some very strange percussion.

Although rooted in the Blues, musically this is an eclectic if not eccentric mix of rhythms that although occasionally discordant is rather mesmeric. Bold lyrical statements, changes of pace and style mid-track, growling vocals – it’s as though a Greek Tom Waits decided to sing the Blues, and , believe me, that is no bad thing!

Of the fifteen self-penned tracks, three of which are instrumentals, only a few could be described as out and out Blues tracks – “A Voodoo Woman Can”, “In Wood Alcohol Line”, “Up In Heaven & Down In Hell” and “My Lonesome Song” are about as close as it gets to accepted form. There is, however, enough steel guitar, slide and, especially, harmonica featured to maintain the overall feel. Also the Blues does tend to slip into the lyrics quite a bit, and S.B.T. is all about his band Small Blues Trap.

Definitely a different kind of album, but one that many would enjoy.

Thomas Rankin