Sunday, 30 December 2007

CD Review - porterdavis

Live At Eddie’s Attic
Independent Release

There’s a rare magic in music when exceptional players mesh perfectly.

Porterdavis’ music is deeply traditional yet totally new. It is of no genre yet of them all – Blues, folk, jazz, bebop. Before every show, band members pour a drink on the floor in homage to their heroes: Ray Charles, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Elvin Jones, Miles Davis, Townes Van Zandt, Muddy Waters and Little Walter.

This CD captures the trio – a guitarist and drummer, both Americans, and a British harmonica player – live at a club near Atlanta.

Key to their sound is Simon Wallace, who won the U.K. National Blues Harmonica Title at age 17. His harp takes the lead on more songs than not. Sometimes his harmonica and Daniel Barrett’s guitar track each other exactly, an octave apart.

On other songs, Barrett provides rhythm or slide-played bass. The sound is complemented by Mike Meadows’ creative, intelligent percussion. This is a tight, tight band.

Lamentably, there are no credits on the promotional CD, but the album seems to mix covers and originals.

Muddy Waters’ ‘I Can’t Be Satisfied’ is transposed into a minor key, barely recognizable but deeper, blusier, more cutting than the original.

Robert Johnson’s ‘Come On In my Kitchen’ is eerie and true – brilliantly reworked, completely new.

‘Long Legs’, apparently an original, is aching folk, pure poetry: “I could see that freckled, bonesy girl would one day be my world. Would you be my world? … I dare not dream so dangerously. You could be the death of me.”

And ‘Diamond Eyed One’ is a delightful finger-poppin’ ode to desire: “I want to cook your favourite dish. I want to kiss your favourite kiss.”

With heartfelt singing by men who follow their own muse, this album is a revelation. Porterdavis is a band worthy of your attention.

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