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Del Mundo (label)
10 February 2017 (released)
02 February 2017
I don’t want to bring comparisons with John Martyn and Danny Thompson but they have the same sort of musical connection and, as with Martyn, Kimbro’s bass playing enables Harley to explore new vistas of his own music.
The album was recoreded ‘live’ in the studio over 4 days – so no million overdubs or dozens of takes – and the immediacy that the format brings makes the music more vital, harder edged and also more involving.
I have to say that the album was one that I simply couldn’t ‘sample and move on’ – every number required deep listening and commitment any left me with an urge to go back and investigate it again.
As to the music; American & Blues sort of covers it. Tinged with a country hue but definitely not Country & Western. The standard of playing is incredible; Harley’s guitar on ‘Dancing On The Rock’ is almost classical in style and his slide and dobro on ‘My Lovers Arms’ is as good as anything I’ve heard in many a while. Kimbro adds depth and rhythm as well as some surprising changes of pace.
The songs cover a wide range of styles and content from the opening ‘One Horse Town’ – Americana with a sense of soul to it and tons of humour – to the deep and beautiful ‘Postcard From Hamburg’ – a simple and lovely love letter – or ‘Trouble’, a plea for relief at a funeral march pace and with some delightful wailing guitar (bass vibrating against the fretboard pins the whole thing together like a tuba) and a bowed bass solo.
They do a version of Little Feat’s ‘Feet Don’t Fail Me now’ that has all the sass and funk of the original and some great dobro from the legend Jerry Douglas.
‘Mean Old City – Part 2’ may be the best thing on the album – an incredibly sensitive and spacious ‘conversation’ between the bass and lap slide underplaying heartfelt vocals – shivers!
An album more than worth checking out: these guys are special.