Thursday, 13 October 2011

Review: Dan Beaver - The Goods

Dan Beaver - The Goods (Beaver Records)
“The Goods” is Dan Beaver’s fourth album and it’s littered with special guests: guitarist / singers, Eric Foster and Billy King, vocalist Mimi De St. Jean and pianist Waz Fox all get their chance to duel with Beaver’s harmonica, and the variety of sounds and styles gives “The Goods” a satisfying edge. Of course, we’re talking about the blues here, so nothing too extreme, and thanks to Beaver’s playing there’s a link that runs through the record, binding the participants.

Let’s get to the tracks that all self-respecting blues fans need to hear without delay. “The Goods” opens with “Burning Hell” a chunky rocker with heavy distorted guitar and fierce solos supplied by Beaver. Their seven and a half minute version of Slim Harpo’s “Shake Your Hips” is just remarkable. With Mimi De St. Jean distinctive vocals firing sparks, it’s almost impossible to breathe new life into these old blues standards on record, yet this is a tour de force, with all the band shining. I don’t know the name of the keyboard player, but he/she deserves a mention for the break – as does the guitarist, and Beaver’s coda is wonderful. The album finishes with “Oh Susanna”, another oldie, and again the band give a fresh lease of life, and at just over a minute, no-one’s going to complain that it outstays its welcome.
Rob F.

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