What a joy it is when an artist comes along and kicks off their album with a song that has you hooked. That’s what blues singer and guitarist Eddie Martin has managed to do with ‘Mississippi Blues’ from his 10th studio album Black White and Blue. Martin sets a groove with some alternate picking and delta-blues-inspired string bends with the distant cry of a harmonica. From here Eddie and his three-piece band seek to satisfy all blues rock desires on a record rich with intelligent writing.
Not only does this album offer very catchy blues riffs, such as on the title track and the Seasick Steve-esque ‘How’, there’s some nice humour too. The jazzy scat of ‘I’ve Lost My Phone’ is a wonderful piece of songwriting and commentary on technology. However, the analysis of modern life is at its most entertaining on ‘Too Much Choice’ on which Martin expresses sentiments I wholeheartedly agree with. “Another manufactured pop band is making headline news; all owned by the same guy whose talent show gets views”* he sings over a jaunty blues rhythm.
Martin plays lead guitar like the greats, but his multi-instrumental virtuosity means he is also able to push boundaries and deliver the unexpected.
Martin plays lead guitar like the greats, but his multi-instrumental virtuosity means he is also able to push boundaries and deliver the unexpected. The layers and textures of the gentle ‘Graceful Ways’ is worlds apart from the snarling Hendrix-style strut of ‘Angry’. The former is one of the few calmer breaks on an album which feels fresh and alive with energy.
Black White And Blue is brought to a close with the slow jam of ‘It All Depends’. It’s dark and moody with a copious amount of reverb and a hint of the psychadelic side of Zeppelin. A slow trudge to the finish line it may be, but imagine it as the end to a worthy festival headline set as you march back to your tent with your legs weak and your mind blown.
*He mumbles the last line, so I made my best guess at the lyric but the message is clear.
By Will Hunt
An impressive display of blues-rock virtuosity
Entertaining lyrical commentaries
Great riffs, rhythm and solos