Thursday, 5 April 2012

Review: Clare Free

Clare Free - Dust and Bones (Funky Mam Records)
The growing legion of contemporary female blues performers continues to impress. Clare Free has built her burgeoning reputation on the hard knocks of the touring circuit, paying her dues playing with Matt Schofield and Constance Redgrave in Misdemeanor, guesting with Larry Garner and Dana Gillespie, making numerous national and local radio appearances, and appearing on the bills of festivals as diverse as Skegness, Upton, Blackburn, Scunthorpe and Maryport.

‘Dust and Bones’, which follows 2010’s debut ‘Be Who You Are’, finds vocalist/guitarist Free fronting her three piece band with a selection of ten finely crafted originals, first among which are the energetic ‘Stronger Than You Think’, the imposing ‘Small Miracles’, and the deeply-grooved ‘Tempted’. In fairness the album falls short of her website claim to be ‘redefining the blues for the modern world’, but there’s really no need to when she can produce material as robustly honest as that showcased here.
Neil B.

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