With the sun shining and temperatures rising this side of the pond, it seems like a good time to share some of the best summer video releases with you.
Giles Robson: “Delta Hardware Boogie”
Another new composition from multi award winning harmonica virtuoso Giles Robson, the first European blues artist to sign up for Chicago’s legendary Alligator Records. The jaunty instrumental “Delta Hardware Boogie” was recorded outside the abandoned Delta Hardware Co store on Sunflower Avenue, Clarksdsle Mississippi.
Robson explains, “The town of Clarksdale is considered the epicenter of the blues and it was a magical experience to visit and record there. I feel very thankful. Hope you enjoy!”
Giles is one of only three blues artists alongside Eric Clapton and Peter Green to win a coveted Blue Music Award in Memphis. His recently released EP Blues From The Road 1: France and his booking at the legendary Edinburgh Festival Fringe this August prove he is worthy of the monikers “blues giant” and “harp master.”
Albany Down: “Always Want What You Can’t Have”
This is the first single from the Zeppelin-esque blues rockers Albany Down’s upcoming fourth studio album Born In The Ashes, to be released on September 1st. The video was filmed a few months before the album recording, during the band’s first live performance of the song at The Musician Pub in Leicester.
With Paul Turley’s soaring vocals and searing guitar riffs complementing the deep grooves of the rhythm section comprising drummer Pete Hancock and bassist Ben Atkins, this adrenaline-fueled song is dedicated to people who are never satisfied with what they have.
Liz Jones & Broken Windows: “Bala Man”
This original song, “Bala Man,” will be on the Edinburgh band’s forthcoming studio album. Liz Jones tells the story: “On my way home from a south coast family gathering, a man boarded the train at Bristol, he was from Bala, Wales. He told me about his home from home, Arbroath Scotland, where his partner lived. He was tied to Wales with family responsibilities, but had traveled up to Arbroath for long weekends as often as possible for over a dozen years. He said it was his ‘borrowed home’, which resonated with me, being a Londrian in Edinburgh. We were both going ‘home,’ him for his break, me after mine.”
Liz sings with her trademark intensity as the story unfolds in the captivating chorus, “Speeding winter steel/Northern we roll/I am a drifter/Young dove/Old crow.” With the legendary guitarist John Bruce at her side it is not surprising that Scotland’s rising star and her excellent band are at last getting the acclaim which they deserve.
Sean Taylor: “Mona Lisa”
A “short story” from 2023 UK Blues Award Acoustic Act of the Year Nominee, London-based troubadour Sean Taylor. “Mona Lisa” is according to Sean, “a rock ‘n’ roll joyride of tales and myths about the most famous painting in the world.”
This includes the disappearance of the Mona Lisa, which was followed by Picasso’s arrest for theft and acquittal, in 1911. It’s a great true story with a strong guitar rhythm, impressive vocals and sublime harmonica playing.
Grainne Duffy: “Dirt Woman Blues”
The best of summer blues releases would be incomplete without a track from the sensational eponymous album by Ireland blues icon Grainne Duffy. What makes Dirt Woman Blues special is the authentic, back to roots sound and production as if it had been born in Irish Celtic traditions and nurtured by the Mississippi Delta.
The slow burning title track written by Duffy and her husband, guitarist Paul Sherry, is characterized by its gorgeous, intricate opening strings, poignant, dramatic lyrics, searing guitar interludes and clever, atmospheric distortion.