"Blues Remedy" is the debut CD by Tim Gaze & The Blues Doctors. Gaze is an Australian guitar prodigy from the early 1970s who has spent time with numerous well-known Aussie rock bands, including a two-year stint with the seminal Australian rock band, Rose Tattoo. On "Blues Remedy," Gaze returns to what he considers the roots of his guitar-playing, the blues.
On "Blues Remedy," Tim Gaze has assembled some of the best blues talent that Australia has to offer. In addition to Gaze's fine guitar and vocals, the band includes keyboard player Mike Gubb; Graeme Gibb on bass; Rob Grosser on drums; and Jim Conway on harmonica. According to the CD's liner notes, given the quality of the personnel on this CD, the music produced by Tim Gaze & the Blues Doctors seems to have been categorized in the "can't miss" category for blues fans in Australia and elsewhere.
There are seven original tunes on the CD written by Tim Gaze, including two songs written by Gaze and various members of the band ("Lonesome Traveler Blues" and "Twin City Blues"). The CD also includes a nice variety of cover tunes including Little Walter's, "Blues With A Feeling," "Parchman Farm Blues" by Bukka White, "Baby Please Don't Go" from the Muddy Waters songbook, Howlin' Wolf's "Who's Been Talkin'?" and "She Loves My Automobile" from Texas blues rockers, ZZ Top. Interestingly enough, the CD ends with "Nobody Knows You" by Ida Cox; a song that seems out of place on the CD, but is still generally well done.
The CD starts off with a Gaze original entitled, "Hell to Pay," a very well-done song that features some exceptional guitar work by Gaze. This is followed by "Lonesome Blues Traveler," a composition by the entire band that includes fine contributions from harpist, Jim Conway, driving piano from Mike Gubb and Gaze's fine slide guitar. Of the three cover tunes that follow, "Blues With A Feeling" is probably the best, including Jim Conway's best harp offerings on the entire CD and more of Tim Gaze's powerful guitar. Muddy Waters' "Baby Please Don't Go" is a close second though, probably because it is one of my personal favorite songs from Muddy's songbook.
Of the remaining songs on the CD, the five originals; "Twin City Blues," "Ain't No Justice," "For Just Once," "Mad Woman Blues," and "Riverside Blues," offer a variety of styles ranging from the "Bad To The Bone/I'm A Man" sound on "Ain't No Justice" to the smoother style offered by "For Just Once" and "Mad Woman Blues." Of the remaining covers, Howlin' Wolf's "Who's Been Talkin?" is clearly the best of the bunch with fine solos by Gubb, Conway and Gaze. The band is tight throughout the entire CD and seem to move easily through the variety of blues styles found on the CD.
Overall, I enjoyed "Blues Remedy" by Tim Gaze & The Blues Doctors. The variety of music offered on the CD is broad enough to appeal to a wide audience and virtually all of the solo work by Gaze, Conway and Gubb is worth listening to. It is hard to say if the band will be able to gain a foothold in the States, but it is certain that the band has the talent to make an impact on U.S. blues fans. G'Day.
This review is copyright © 1999 by Dave "Doc" Piltz, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved.