By Little Axe
Guitarist Skip McDonald has a bit of previous experience with groundbreaking records, mainly as a player in Hip-Hop label Sugarhills house band, the early 80's saw him playing on 'The Message' for starters, then with Dub maverick Adrian Sherwood as Tackhead and part of another house band for the On-U Soundsystem.
Nearly 20 years ago the album 'The Wolf That House Built' saw him return to his original love of the blues under the name 'Little Axe.'
He's been joined on this latest offering by long time collaborators, the equally legendary, Doug Wimbush on bass, Keith LeBlanc on Drums and Bernard Fowler on Vocals and they've come up with another contemporary take on the blues.
'Soul of a Man' is a slow burning, southern infused lament, 'Return' has some of that Led Zep spacey blues about it and 'Tell Me Why' is a funky West African blues.
Several tracks 'Can't Stop Walking' among them, have very effective gospel style backing vocals and Reggae Veteran Ken Booth even pops up on a couple of tracks, including 'Can't Sleep,' the most traditional blues on the album in that it has Ken bemoaning that his woman "dun gone left him" although his lack of sleep and tendency to cry all night might be better suited to a couple of Prozac and pulling himself together. It's no wonder these blues singers have so little luck with long term relationships, when they're not singing about drinking, gambling and whoring, they're moaning that their woman doesn't understand them.
Whilst not treading any new paths, Little Axe have made a wide ranging, big sounding blues record with a nice, cohesive feel.