Review: 24 Pesos – Busted Broken And Blue

Posted on: Wednesday, Aug 11, 2010

“Busted Broken And Blue”
(OurGate Records)

Here’s a great album from four-piece London band, 24Pesos – 11 tracks that straddle many genres – a heady mix of blues, funk and soul, with a touch of hip-hop thrown in – all-in-all a very modern blues album, with some ‘old school’ influences on board, and all self-penned by Julian Burdock, who features on vocals, guitar and harmonica.

The rest of the band comprise of Silas Maitland (bass) – who produced the album – with Moz Gamble (organ and backing vocals) and Mike Connolly (drums), together they draw on the funk and soul influences of Al Green, Larry Graham and Sly Stone, the blues of the likes of Freddie King, with the modern flavours of Beck, The Fun Loving Criminals and G Love & Special Sauce!

The opening “Maxwell Street” lays down the template for the album – a possibly sampled spoken word intro, some dynamite slide guitar from Burdock and tasteful organ from Moz Gamble and some funky goings-on from the rhythm section; the following “Never Saw The Devil” again rides on a fine groove with Gamble’s keyboards to the fore and a fine vocal from Julian Burdock – who shows his prowess on amplified harmonica on the ‘lowdown’ blues of “Waitin’ At The Station”, which builds from  a semi-acoustic start, with more powerful guitar work here.

“In The Summertime” has that gently ‘tripping’ hip-hop feel that characterised the work of New York’s Fun Loving Criminals at their peak, with “Lowdown Sweet And Dirty” telling of love for a particular kind of lady – again beautifully delivered by the whole band, with more delicious organ work from Moz Gamble. “Mean What I Say” is a soulful stomper, with a definite nod to the late, legendary James Brown and an album highlight for me.

Elsewhere “Somebody Else” takes the pace down for this acoustic-flavoured ballad, with heartfelt vocal from Burdock; whose guitar playing on the title cut, “Busted Broken And Blue” tears it up Brian Setzer-style on this rip-roaring swinger, with proceedings slowed down again for the penultimate “Day Becomes Night”, a slow blues ballad, and again quite superb. The album closes with a trip down to N’Awlins on the funky “Neckbones And Gumbo” and tons of more guitar and organ – a great closer to one of the best British albums I’ve heard this year!


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