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Delta Groove (DGPCD145)

Sugar (Where'd You get Your Sugar from?), Leanin' Load, Scent Of Your Benjamins, Almost Good, One Of These Days, Edge Of The World, That's The Thing, Maintain, I've Had Enough, This Time, Something's Gotta Give, Somebody Gonna Lose/Somebody Gonna Win, If I Could (Make The World Stop Turning).

‘Edge Of The World' gets my vote for best blues album of the year so far. Not bad for a CD that had such humble beginnings.

Shawn Pittman was making demos with song writer Lewis Dickson. Low on funds he was working at home with a guitar, a snare drum and an eight track recorder. Pleased with the results and always believing that the more instruments you include, the better you can communicate your ideas to the band, he decided to flesh out the tunes by overdubbing a hired piano and drum kit - not difficult, as he was armed with tips picked up from his sessions with drummers Chris Layton, Big Eyes Smith and piano men Ron Levy and Gene Taylor. As he worked, he realised that he was achieving the live, warm, soulful sound that reverberated through his favourite 50s and 60s recordings and so all he had to do was add Jonathan Doyle's tenor and baritone saxophones to supply the perfect finishing touch.

Blues guitar fans prepare to be wowed! Listen to Shawn out-crank the Fabulous Thunderbirds on the crunching rocker Something's Gotta Give, then go way down home on Somebody Gotta Lose before cruising out with the whacking acoustic guitar bop If I Could. Shawn was on fire when he came up with the material on this CD which ranges from Sugar with its hefty Texas swang and One Of These Days with its thundering bass-heavy beat, to the mysterious Scent Of Your Benjamins (what's all that about?) with its T-Bone Walker-ish guitar wrangling. Then there's Maintain. This one has a shimmering slamming guitar which sounds like Bo Diddley on steroids.

Every track is strong but one of the knockouts is I've Had Enough which sounds like Duane Allman and Elmore James jamming with Johnny Johnson at Ginger Baker's. It's a great house rocker with tons of solid piano work and some of the wildest guitar you'll have heard in a while. Another favourite is the big rocker Almost Good with its tremendous contest between guitar and tenor sax on the instrumental passages and then the glorious moment when the guitar solo strikes out for the ionosphere with glorious runs full of sparkling clusters of blue notes before the stabbing piano brings Pittman's brawling vocals back into play.

You can't miss this if you're a true blue dyed-in-the-wool blues fan because it's definitely one for you!


Review Date: July 2011

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