Sometimes it’s a really bad idea to read a press release before listening to an album. The one for this album starts with “Hard rock harmonica hero”. My immediate reaction was “What the f**k? Harmonica? I’m not feeling optimistic about this one”. It’s also a covers album, so I was expecting some pretty awful harmonica covers of great songs.
Happily though, reality didn’t match my expectations. Yes he plays harmonica, but I’m betting you’ve never heard the harmonica played like this. He’s developed his own signature tunings for the harmonica which mean he’s able to get sounds from the instrument that are more like a guitar than the traditional harmonica sound. As an example, check out his cover of Gary Moore’s “Parisienne walkways”. The harmonica replaces the guitar in certain places and he’s done an incredible job of replicating the sound.
Another track he’s covered is Black Sabbath’s “The wizard”, which did feature a harmonica in the original version but nothing like as impressively as in this cover version.
With covers of songs from Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Jethro Tull, Gary Moore, Free, Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood mac, Rory Gallagher and more, he’s taken on some big well known songs, and he’s managed to do what many music fans would probably say is impossible – he’s made the harmonica a proper hard rock instrument.
Strip away the harmonica and you’ve got reasonable cover versions, but it’s the harmonica that really makes these versions so impressive. This album really did surprise me (in a good way) and it’s definitely well worth a listen.
“Bring it on home” will be released on 9th March 2018
1. Bad penny
3. I’m your witchdoctor
4. Locomotive breath
5. Love that burns
7. The wizard
8. Yer blues
9. My brother Jake
10. Bring it on home
11. Parisienne walkways