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2016 album 'Got my eyes on you'.
1. Motormouth Mama
2. Pep on my step
3. She scares me
5. My blues buddy done stole my baby
6. Depot blues
7. Hit the road
8. Miss you when you've gone
9. I won't be sober soon
10. A handful of kisses
11. My middle name is lonesome
12. Jukin' (My baby left me)
13. My blues buddy done stole my baby (alternative bonus)
Album Review – Blues in Britain - Issue 177 (Sept 2016)
The King Biscuit Boys: Got my eyes on you
If you want stripped down, front porch country blues, then this is the place to be. Jonathan Townsend brings simple, gritty lyrics with guitar, and accompanies Craig Stocker on a variety of percussive implements, not to mention breathing life into a very nice harp.
The lyrics are the boys view on everyday life, mixed with a few interpretations of old stalwarts, such as ‘Hit The Road Jack’, in a lovely, harp driven instrumental form. A grungy ‘Motormouth Mama’, and a reworked Son House, ‘Depot Blues’ complete the ‘covers’. Most of the material is written by Jonathan ‘Lonesome’ Townsend (his label accorded by the lyrics) with a little help from Craig on ‘Pep In My Step’, a song that swaggers along to retell getting up for the next gig. Washboard, tin cans, and the kitchen sink come into Craig’s reach for a delightful tap dance across ‘ She Don’t Scare Me’. Scary women, stolen moments with other men’s women, lost women, and, of course, you cannot have blues without resorting to alcohol. That bottle is cracked open for ‘I Won’t Be Sober Soon’, pouring out two fine measures of harmonica between verses.
Throughout this album, Craig shines through with
his country harp, Jon has injected the lyrics with humour and the whole session
is unadorned straight acoustic takes, recorded to capture the sound of The King
Biscuit Boys live.
It adds a light touch and brings a smile to the face.
All in a days work... 2014
1. Suck, squeeze, bang, blow
2. All you need
4. Lies travel faster than the truth
5. Tell by her look
6. Stealin' Stealin'
7. Bye bye baby, so long
8. Live life and take the consequences
9. If you want loyalty...but a dog!
10. How come my dog don't bark?
Blues in Britain
The story behind this album was detailed in November 2014’s issue, but a quick recap: Gwyn Ashton offered to record anyone who was interested . These guys, who have been working together since 2011, got in touch.
The CD title is quite literal – it was all laid down in a single day, generally keeping to the duo’s live approach.
So it is that the set closer- both live and on this disc – is the traditional ‘How come my dog don’t bark?’, influenced here partly by Dr John’s version. It is a favourite with audiences and gets a lively treatment, with some forceful guitar work by Jonathan Townsend, and it is a good example too of the Boy’s sense of humour. ‘Bye bye baby, so long ‘, inspired by American harp great Steve Guyger, has an early ‘50’s Chicago flavoured sound, thanks to Craig Stocker’s accomplished chromatic harmonica work, and some of the other songs are in a similar early post-war style. They also draw on the likes of the duo’s favourites The Memphis Jug Band, and they occasionally write songs, taking inspiration from a comment by Son House or compose a replacement song for Muddy Waters’ number ‘You got to take sick and die some of these days’, as it was deemed inappropriate for Jonathan to sing in the hospital where he was working!
Nice and lively, this one, and well worth a listen. I guess Gwyn liked them- I certainly do – Norman Darwen.
Recorded in a day with the help of Gwyn Ashton, this latest from the King Biscuit Boys is as raw and rootsy as you would expect given the tight budget and time constraints the band placed on themselves. A collection of acoustic originals and reworked blues standards, more often than not given humorous lyrical twists by the duo, All In a Days Work captures all of the band’s unfurnished elegance as well as their impressive array of instruments and talents as players. There’s obviously plenty of guitar and throaty vocals (pitched at an entirely authentic Delta yell throughout) but the band also have their trademark virtuosic harmonica, as well as melodica, washboard and even spoons in their arsenal. Album opener Cold In The Morning is a wonderful duet between harmonica and guitar and is rife with double entendre, a stylistic trait so oft overlooked in the Blues. Lies Travel Faster than the truth has an almost ethereal quality more than likely due to it’s open tuning, and again highlights the band’s willingness to pay tribute to their Blues idols (in this case Son House). There is some fantastic slide work on the likes of Tell By Her Look and some interesting bass/harmonica counterpoint on Bye Bye Baby and it’s perhaps here that the band’s ‘ace in the hole’ becomes most apparent, this unlikely duo have that rarest of things, chemistry. The musical empathy they so clearly share is hard to resist and only ever serves the material in a beneficial way. Whilst a word of advice would be to amp up their promotional game as trying to find any relevant info on these guys may make you feel like you’re actually trying to track down one of the original legendary bluesman (perhaps this is the point), as songwriters and musicians first and foremost they are hard to fault.