BERLIN SWAMP MUSIC
Pete Gavin is a Londoner who played folk and blues clubs around Soho as well as larger festivals whilst continuing his career as a physicist. After he decided to take up life as a full time bluesman with much touring in Europe, Japan and USA he then settled in Germany where he is now based. This album contains ten original songs and three covers and kicks off with the aptly titled Welcome featuring the lyric “welcome to Europe we hope you feel safe here” Actually Pete we’ve chosen to leave although the process is proving somewhat difficult! Gavin’s gruff vocals and slide guitar are backed by bass/double bass and a prominent backbeat supplied by two drummers. That old favourite Going Down gets a good seeing to with Gavin adding harmonica riffs to his slide guitar playing. Next up is a funky plea to Stop The Rain which is propelled by the two drummers and Gavin’s wild slide guitar. I do find the drums are sometimes a bit too prominent in the mix for my taste. A ragged, almost rockabilly style, cover of Sonny Boy Williamson’s song Nine Below Zero is followed by the frantic Bo Diddley beat of Pater Noster Boogie. There is a touch of Latin groove to About Love and this is followed by a funky version of the much covered classic Further On Up The Road. There is an Elmore James feel to Real Life which is based around the slow blues It Hurts Me Too. The crashing blues-rocker Where Are You features plaintive vocals, a Jimmy Reed style harp solo and tasty slide guitar licks. Hound Dog Dream Oz starts out as a gentle acoustic tale of touring Australia until the drums crash in and drive it home in rocking fashion. The album closes with title track Berlin Swamp Music which starts with a suitably atmospheric slide guitar and harp intro then evolves into a psychedelic rave-up featuring didgeridoo! Great stuff. I’m sure this album will sell well at the band’s gigs in Germany.
PO Box 18, Bridgend, CF33 6YW. UK
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