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Wild T And The Spirit|
(Bullseye Records Of Canada © 2004 BLR-CD-4076)
Review Date: December 2008
by Norman Darwen
Born in Trinidad and based in Canada, championed by the late Jeff Healey and a
one-time accompanist to David Bowie, singer, guitarist and band-leader Wild T
(a.k.a. Tony Springer) does not have the 'standard' blues background - but then
there's not much standard about his brand of blues, either (and yes, I am aware
there is a precedent for the Bowie connection). His music is actually better
described as blues-rock, although as that term tends to be used for those who
use a sledgehammer to crack a nut, neither is that totally appropriate. Although
Wild T can indeed be loud and proud (try 'Dangerous' for a riff-rocker), he is
also a subtle player, introducing elements drawing on such varied sources as
late seventies and early eighties jazz-funk - there is a strong George
Benson-ish sound on 'Love's Holiday' and in several places elsewhere - the more
mellow side of Eric Clapton, acoustic singer-songwriters, and even the slightest
hint of rap on 'You're The One', in addition to the more expected
Hendrix-inspired sounds and blues-rockers of the last few decades. We are at
track 6, 'Jenny' before encountering anything like a straight 12 bar blues - but
the entire album is of course thoroughly and unarguably blues-drenched. Tony's
backing musicians are totally in synch with his approach, particularly organist
Peter Nunn. Completists should also note that the aforementioned Jeff Healey
guests on 'Can't Get You (Outta My Mind), supplying some distinctive guitar
Wild T's vocals are also worthy of note too - again, there may be a slight trace
of Hendrix, but for the most part he is hip and cool, neither a full-bodied soul
man nor an out-and-out rock singer. It is a voice that suits his individual take
on the blues, and his intelligent, original compositions. Lovers of the rockier
end of the blues spectrum should certainly investigate.
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