Saturday, 10 March 2012

Review: Mitch Laddie

Mitch Laddie - Burning Bridges (Mystic Records)
We have long argued in these pages that the current crop of emergent musicians playing the blues is nothing short of a phenomenon, throwing up, as it is, some of the finest and most original work in the genre for forty years or more. In its March edition the big-selling Classic Rock has finally cottoned on to the same, with both a major feature proclaiming the arrival of a new rock revolution, and a cover-mounted CD showcasing the likes of Oli Brown, Diana Fuchs, Ian Segal, Erja Lyytinen and more that you may have read about here first. It’s not a competition of course; we’re well pleased that they’re giving coverage to this exciting talent and heartily recommend you buy the magazine and check out the sampler. One further name we’re happy to share CR’s enthusiasm for is Mitch Laddie, whose second release ‘Burning Bridges’ hits the streets on March 12th.

Yet another Walter Trout protégé, the 20-year-old Laddie has turned in a collection of impressively versatile and frighteningly assured blues gems from scorching heavy-rock opener ‘Time is Running Away’ via the intelligent jazz-tinged acoustic instrumental ‘Changing Tides and Burning Bridges’, and a jaw-dropping re-arrangement of Marvin Gaye’s ‘Inner City Blues’, to the closing pair of smouldering soulful ‘Give you the World’ and, gentle, reflective Peter Green-esque closer ‘Mr Johnson Revisited’.

The boy can write; the mostly self-penned material here is every bit the equal of the top-notch playing and singing, and taken as a whole this is a massive statement which inevitably invokes a whole host of forbears without ever compromising its individuality. Wishful-thinkers have been unveiling new blues messiahs since the fall of Eric Clapton, and for the most part they’ve been deluding themselves. God knows where they’re coming from right now though, because instead of one or two hopeful contenders we’re suddenly faced with an honest-to-goodness tsunami of astonishing talent, sounding for all the world like it’s been around for years, but delivered by artists (and I mean artists) barely (if at all) out of their teens. Of which Mitch Laddie is a prime example, with distinct claims to being the best of the lot.
Neil B.

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