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REVIEWS | ALBUMS

Africa the band create a crunchingChicagoBlues, aidedbyDarrylDunmore onHarmonica.Griotis anAfricanwordthathas many meanings but the keyonesbeingStoryteller and keeper of peoples history, the album title is perfect as this is exactly what the band are doing here, retaining the legacy of theAfrican Tribal music but bringing it into play with a large dose of blues. I guarantee you will be transfixed by the infectious beats throughout this album, the lyrical content is also topnotch,particularly onDrunkAsASkunk which is a tale of lost love and the subsequent of drowningyoursorrows with drink. Griot Blues is a real fusion of cultures and it seems these artists have foundaformula that not only works for thembutgiveseveryone else averypleasurable listening experience. ADRIANBLACKLEE

ANDREAS DIEHLMANN BAND ADB INDEPENDENT Peter Sellers, in The Goon Show, used to have a cod-Germanexpressionif somethingveryimpressive occurred; “Gerschmitten Hemmenzvitz!”Thisis semanticgobbledygook, but the minute I heard this superb album I had to shout it out. This is German blues efficiency at its finest. Oh boy, what a band. Every meaty influence is here, from Freddie King to ZZ Top and Hendrix. From the brilliant, moodyslideguitar which opens the album on Way Down South, the hair stands up on your neck andyou’rehooked.This powerful trio are Andreas Diehlmannonguitarand vocals, with Volker Zeller on bass and Tom Bonn ondrums.Togetherthey make a richly textured wall of rocky blues sound which has all the kick of a litre of Lowenbrau’s finest Munich beer. It takes somecojonestotackle Peter Green’s Oh Well, but they do it with stunning, driving confidence. Apart from that track and B.B. King’s Rock Me Baby, the remaining eight songsare all penned by Andreas Diehlmann.Hepossesses a fine blues voice, especially on the slower, Green-influenced song, Gone.Trackten,Rita,will have you dancing on the ceiling, with a slide guitar solowhichcouldstrip paint. Vorsprungdurch technik?Nein. Vorsprung durchDiehlmann! Brilliant all round. ROY BAINTON

JIMBYRNES LONG HOT SUMMER DAYS

BLACKHEN How do you define ‘Blues’? I always liked Little Junior

CLIMAX BLUES BAND LIVE AT THE BBC REPERTOIRERECORDS Formed in 1968 Chicago Climax Blues Band have gonethroughmany changes,notleast personnelwise.This double CD shows the band in its early beginnings through to themiddle 70s. Found in the BBC Archives some of these tracks were thought to have been lost. Recorded over a span of 8 years at various times, it captures the band at the top of their game.Mainlyfeaturing the foundingmembers, the late PeterHaycock and Colin Cooper as well as Derek Holt and John Cuffley. There are only 2 tracks on the CD that are not written by the band themselves. Theopening track is SpoonfulbyWillie Dixon. Not a bad opener by any means it shows just what a great blues band they are. Country Hat is a superb showcase for all the members,mostnotably the slide guitar work put downbyHaycock.Each songrepresentseach

Parker’s observation “The blues is based on somebody’slife, it hits ’em member’scontributions in anawesomesetting.Flight being a perfect example. At 8.12 minutes long, this instrumental gives you a fabulous insight into a band in perfect harmony. Goin To New York is the only other track not written by the band. Mary Lee/ Jimmy Reed co-wrote this and Climax give it its due attention. Footstomping blues at its best. Amerita/ Sense Of Direction is another fine example of amazingplaying. ThroughouttheCDthere are small introductions from BBC Presenters such as Bob Harris and the late great BrianMatthew, CD2providespossibly my favourite of the album, Losin TheHumblesonce again it highlights Haycock at his best on slide guitar. Add to that Colin Cooper on vocals and stunning Sax and Messer’s Holt and Cuffley in the engine room this is one hell of a band hitting the groove with every beat. Couldn’t Get It Right was my first introduction to theband back in 1976.Listening to this fabulous collection it’s almost like revisiting anold friend. Then finding yourold friend hassome remarkablesecrets. All in all, a fantastic album from a fantastic band. Thank you old friend it’s been anabsolutepleasure. STEPHENHARRISON

CELEBRATING BLUES FOR 20 YEARS

ISSUE 100 BLUES MATTERS! 91

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