Blues On Stage Logo

CD Review
Various Artists
"Something New Something Blue"
The Sticky Label (SICD 257)
(11 Tracks: 52 mins 45 secs)
By Gordon Baxter
Eleven original tracks from six of Britain's most promising young bands, who all fit somewhere in the Blues genre. The CD was recorded in the middle of 1998 in Burnley, in the UK, and some of the bands are going to be recording full albums for the Sticky Label for release in the near future. It was a pleasant surprise to find that it was not a CD full of pub bands rehashing a load of blues standards. The range of styles on offer is such that the CD offers something for almost everyone who likes the Blues.

CBN kick things off with "Hold On to You" which opens with some nicely understated guitar work before turning into a boogie with the same muddy guitar sound that Canned Heat achieved in "On The Road Again". The band returns on track seven ("Fast Talkin' Women") which opens with Chris Eaton soloing on slide guitar, in a style that brings to mind Lowell George. He then takes a back seat when Adam Wheatley steps up to the mike.

Blazin' Row are next with "One Last River to Cross". Sista Monica was raving about this band after she heard them. This is the sort of song you should have blaring out of your car stereo on a road trip with the hood down. If you can imagine the Blues colliding with New Country music, you come somewhere close to Blazin' Row's sound on this track. Their second offering wins first prize for the best song title ("Jesus Wants to Buy Yez a Drink"). It just builds and builds as it goes along, with the band seeming to arrive in the studio one at a time. The rhythm section is very much to the fore, and Giles Robson puts in a guest appearance on harp.

Third up are Reconsider with "Long Time Comin'". The only band on the CD to feature a female singer (Fliss Dowling), and very good she is too. A great blend of horns and funky guitar "Cold Heart". To get the full atmosphere on Reconsider's second song "Cold Heart", which is also the closing track, you need to fill the room with smoke, turn down the lights and break out the whisky bottle. This is the sort of song you'd expect to hear in a late night blues/jazz club.

Track four is The Sensational Midnight Willie Band featuring Giles Robson, with "Streamlined Boogie". This is top drawer stuff. If you like amplified harmonica, you'll love this; and even if you don't, you'll still love it! Robson, who is just 19, plays a mean harp, and is ably supported by the rest of the band, who all look old enough to be his father. They also feature on the penultimate track "New Deal", which has Robson singing and blowing some more meaty harp, on a tune that fits where rhythm and blues meets rock and roll. This track also features some very nice blues/jazz guitar work from Raul de Pedro.

The Big Blue are fifth up with "You Talk TooMuch". An understated 12 bar effort from this London based trio, which features some competent guitar work from Stuart Bligh. The band resurfaces on track nine "I Do" which, for some reason reminds me of ZZ Top at their best. It can't be the beards (they don't have any), so maybe it's a combination of the fact that they are a trio, and the groove of what is another goodtune.

The midway point is marked by the only track fromThe Freeze ("Caught in the Act"). It starts off quietly with some unamplified harp which makes it sound like an outtake from a Western movie. John Stokes then breaks in to sing a tale about an affair with his best friend's wife. This is a great tune, which ebbs and flows like the tide as it goes along. Probably the best track on the CD.

Most of the material shows that these bands have real promise, and there's definitely no turkeys here. Any of the material here would stand up pretty well against much of the stuff that appears on samplers from the larger Blues labels. It's not just my opinion, however, since even The Times newspaper (in the UK) was moved to suggest that there may be a supergroup of the future here!

The Sticky Label is a relatively small outfit, so this CD may not be widely available in the shops outside the UK. If you are having problems getting hold of it try contacting them direct:
Telephone +44 (0)1282 425077
Fax: +44 (0)1282 425078
Web site:

This review is copyright © 1998 by Gordon Baxter, all rights reserved.

music bar
Mailbox E-mail Ray Stiles at:

Blues On Stage Table of Contents:
Home Page | Calendar | Spotlight | Features | Photo Gallery
Live Reviews | New Reviews | CD Reviews | New CD Releases | Blues Profiles
Blues Musicians | Blues Clubs | Blues Jams | Memorial | Blues Links
New Links | Website Updates | Website Description | Blues News | Message Board

Music Top10% Sites This page hosted by geo logo Get your own Free Home Page

Visit other GeoCities Homesites
blues graphic

Copyright © 1997, 1998 Ray M. Stiles. All rights reserved.
Blues On Stage is a ® Trademark of Ray Stiles.