Review: Dave Fields – “All Wound Up”

Posted on: Friday, Mar 6, 2009


“All Wound Up”

(FMI Records – 801901000034)

Although not a massive fan of the rockier end of the blues, I have been quite taken with the music of New York City’s Dave Fields – a fine guitar player, singer and writer – his new release, “All Wound Up”, follows on from the 2007 album, “Time’s A Wastin’”, which introduced me to his work.

The son of Manhattan pianist, composer and arranger Sammy ‘Forever’ Fields, he has a modern take on the blues – covering all bases from rockers, and some funk and soul grooves – all making up a most agreeable sound, given extra muscle here by the addition of harmonica player Billy Gibson on four tracks – bringing his Memphis sound to the recording.

The opening “Train To My Heart” is a doff of the cap to the greatest electric guitarist of all time, Jimi Hendrix, with dynamite wah-wah solo; followed up the funk groove of “Ain’t No Crime, with guest vocal from Ada Dyer and great fills from Billy Gibson. The title cut is an uptempo stomper with Fields showing he is no slouch on the keyboards either, with great organ and piano, and lovely saxophone from Rob Chaseman.

“Let’s Have A Ball” does just that, another funk-flavoured song with an infectious lyric and some spiky guitar leads – the following “Still Itchin’” kicks into life with a tremendous exchange of harmonica from Billy Gibson and Fields slide guitar, with a rolling New Orleans beat.

Other highlights are the heavy, slow blues of “Cold Wind Blowin’”, again with some classy piano work, and his harmonic guitar work accompanying an aching vocal. Possibly the best track here is the fun “Big Fat Ludus”, a jump-jive style romp that swings like crazy – think of Louis Jordan doing “Caledonia” and you’re almost there – with some fiery guitar and solo from Billy Gibson.

The instrumental “Screamin’” is another uptempo tune with fine playing from all concerned again – not swamped by Fields guitar, but leaving room for Gibson’s harmonica and his own keyboard work again. The 50s’ style “Baby Come Back” has some honking baritone saxophone from Rob Chaseman and a blistering solo from Fields, with a couple of surf licks thrown in.

The rolling “Blue Ballad” sees Fields playing all instruments except bass, with some snaky guitar licks and a smooth, soulful vocal, before the album closer, “Guide Me To The Light” – a mid-tempo rocker, with harmonica this time from Hurricane Bob and Ada Dyer’s gospel backing vocals – Dave Fields guitar work building with the song – fine stuff indeed!

Don’t know if Dave Fields will ever make it to the UK, but he certainly has the chops to wow festival and club crowds here – a highly recommended release from a most talented guy.


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