After reading my review of Dave Spark’s excellent various artists compilation album UK Blues 2Day (see my review #85), I was contacted by Chris Harper of Husky Tones – one of the featured bands on the album. He sent me a copy of the band’s debut album Time For A Change on CD for review. The album has been available for a few months now, and has had some good reviews already, but I just want to say a few words about it anyway because its very good.
The band consists of: Chris Harper himself (Guitar); Victoria Bourne (Vocals / Drums); Matthew Richards (Bass); and Liam Ward (Harmonica). All experienced and competent musos; which is certainly demonstrated by their music; and there are distinctive vocals from Victoria.
Time For A Change is a ten track album with all songs written by Bourne and Harper. It contains a variety of Bluesy styles; and its clear that the band know their Blues inside out. It obviously gives a respectful nod to the classics of the genre; yet its no rehash of earlier music. It has a fresh feel about it that rejuvenates the Blues and brings it right up to date.
I particularly liked ‘I Dare You’, which has an unexpected middle section with a great SRV-esque guitar part. And the laid-back ‘Its A Bitter Love…’ with its superb harp and guitar. There is a fine instrumental too, in the form of ‘Daybreak’. Lyrics on all songs are good – especially on ‘Fortune Seeker’, I thought. ‘Uncle Walter’ (the track chosen for the UK Blues 2day album), covers an historical subject; whilst a lot of the rest covers the traditional love-angst typical of Blues (but that’s not a criticism!)
It was apparently recorded as live as possible in the studio, and required a minimum of overdubs to keep the sound as near as possible to the band’s live performance. This is a good thing because, as I said in my previous article and elsewhere, Blues is primarily about the live performance.
The CD comes in a standard Jewel Case with a cover featuring Victoria: and plenty of info and lyrics printed in the booklet. A very good album that’s worth buying. The band have just embarked on a UK tour to promote the album. PTMQ