“Accomplished…Tasty” New Review of “Black White and Blue”Posted by eddiemartinblues on January 9, 2018 Uncategorized | | No comments
Matt Schofield, Danny Bryant and Aynsley Lister are three of many such talented cases in point.
Adding to that list of ever-presents these last twenty years or so, with product as tasty as anything they have done those last two decades, is Eddie Martin and Black White and Blue – and given this is British bluesman’s fifteenth offering of a catalogue that ranges from accomplished and acclaimed blues rock, big band albums, a handful of acoustic works (including 2010’s Folk & Blues) and a couple of live DVD’s, that’s quite the statement.
But then Black White and Blue makes its own statement, and right from the get-go, with the perfectly titled opener ‘Mississippi Sound’ and the howlin’ harmonica that echoes behind and through the ZZ Top ‘n’ slide guitar picking number (Eddie Martin plays a blues harp as well as he plays a blues slide – and that’s very well indeed).
‘Mississippi Sound’ also sets out the southern styled stall of the album, delivering strongly across ten tracks that include the freight train weight of ‘Angry’ (which flits between heavy harmonica blues and Hendrix-esque blues psychedelia), the rhythmic beat and slide-blues groove of ‘How’ and a shufflin’ great title track that emphasises Eddie Martin’s immersion in, and respect for, the Afro-American music heritage (“we’re now in a blend, but the history is bruised – It’s black, white and blue”).
Change of pace or lighter blues shade are showcased by way of the smooth and slightly funky ‘I Choose You’ (featuring up and coming smoky voiced blues songstress Elles Bailey on backing vocals) and ‘Too Much Choice,’ an even funkier and harp blowing cry of despair on the over-abundance of valueless, modern world commodities (“over a hundred music channels, and not one of ‘em plays the blues” – well, unless your name starts with Joe and ends in Bonamassa, but point taken, Eddie).
Further contrast is added via ‘I’ve Lost My Phone,’ a jazzy and fun 50s styled blues that has its lyrics very much in the 21st century, and the more traditional blues brace of the slow and spacious ‘Graceful Ways’ and seven minute album closer, the Mississippi soaked ‘It All Depends.’
As touched on near the top of this review, Eddie Martin records and performs in a number of equally accomplished settings including solo acoustic, big band and blues trio mode.
It’s in the latter format, with favoured rhythm section Zak Ranyard (bass) and Tom Gilkes (drums), that Black White and Blue so strongly presents itself – and in more colourful shades than its title would suggest.