Sunday, 30 December 2007

CD Review - J. Dorsey Blues Band

Worried Blues EP
Independent Release

By M.D. Spenser

Let’s be upfront about it: If you want to buy this CD, it’ll be tough. You won’t find it at HMV, nor on amazon, and the band’s web site on myspace – had, as of late December, not a speck of information.

But that’s OK, because there’s no reason to buy it anyway, unless what you need to fill out your collection is a complete lack of originality.

This CD is not horrible, but it’s not good, either. The five tracks are a melange of styles that don't really mix.

The title track is a droning one-chord version of a song listed as ‘Worried Blues’ and called “traditional”. In fact, the title of the song is ‘Someday Baby’ and it was written in 1935 by Sleepy John Estes and Hammie Nixon. It’s played with some slide guitar and a whole lot of racket.

Track 2 is the only original, a one-chord number so slow it sounds like an LP played at the wrong speed. It is topped by Jimi Hendrix-like vocals and descends into distortion. Clocking in at 8:22, it’s about eight minutes too long.

From Hendrix territory we jump improbably to Nina Simone: the cover of her ‘Do I Move You’, slinky and sexual, is the EP’s one high point.

Then we hop to a dreary Chuck Berry cover. Chuck Berry with the fun taken out? What’s the point?

The CD closes with a Fred McDowell number, which is fun in a Fat Possum, Mississippi hill country sort of way. The song has a driving rhythm, but there is still a tendency to confuse cacophony with musicality.

The verdict? Twenty-three minutes of mishmash.

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