When Mat Walklate asked me if I’d like to review the album Kicking Up The Dust which he had recorded in collaboration with Paolo Fuschi, I had no hesitation in accepting because I’d already heard good things about them and their album.
Playing the CD it was soon clear that these boys have been doing some serious listening to some old Blues records! Now I must admit that I haven’t listened to stuff like this for quite a few years… since I lived next door to the late Ray Topping of Ace Records, in fact. It was he who introduced me to a lot of old Blues like this; and he would have loved this album. As I do.
Mancunian Mat plays harp and sings; whilst Sicilian Paolo plays guitar and sings. As a duet they have gelled perfectly; demonstrating tight arrangements and complimenting each others strengths. Together they have picked up the vibe of some authentic Blues masters.
Kicking Up The Dust is a ten track disc of mostly old Blues covers of 50s / 60s vintage (except for one track penned by the duet themselves). Classics by the likes of Willy Dixon (‘As Long As I Have You’); Lightning Hopkins (Black Cat Bone’); and Mud Morganfield‘s tribute to his Dad (Muddy Waters) ‘Trouble No More’, are covered with an impressive degree of accuracy and authenticity in both sound and performance; whilst still demonstrating a new interpretation too. Their own number ‘Don’t You Know Me?’ fits nicely with the general vibe of the old classics in the collection; and shows that these boys are capable of writing as well as covering. Its a pity though that they didn’t include one or two more of their own songs.
The album was recorded at Eve Studios in Manchester. The CD comes in a simple card gate-fold sleeve with photos, track listing, thanks and credits etc. It is already released and is available from their website (link below). If you’re into classic Blues then you’ll need to hear / buy this album. PTMQ