Review: Depot – Diamond Joe

Posted on: Friday, Dec 31, 2010

Artist: Depot

Title: Diamond Joe

Label: Self Release

Mat Walklate’s Depot have added an extra dimension to their highly accomplished repertoire of pre-war acoustic blues; that being the addition to the band of Senegalese percussionist Koulaty Kabo; he joins Mat, who is on lead vocals, guitar, flute and uilleann pipes,  with Faul Bradley; guitar and vocals, and Anthony Haller; double bass.

Together, they have created an extremely intriguing and highly stimulating seven track E.P.  which contains a wide and varied collection of numbers from the hauntingly earthy and eerie “Diamond Joe,” a version culled from Charlie Butler’s performance of Parchman Farm in nineteen thirty-seven; this version features an emotion filled atmosphere which is beautifully created from Mat’s stunning use of uilleann pipes, a tinge  of desolation and isolation seems to pervade throughout the number.

Elsewhere, a heart-warming, jolly and comforting rendition of “Mississippi” John Hurt’s “Candyman,” is indeed most welcome.

The most satisfying aspects of this record are the contrasting styles and the openness of feeling in the music created, especially so in the primitive and mystical percussive sounds from Koultay combined with Mat’s floating, gossamer like playing of the flute and pipes.

Whereas,  Muddy Waters’ “Trouble No More,” is a stomping no nonsense mover, featuring a stripped down nasty fight between a razor like harp and a barbed slide; very tasty!

With the introduction of flute and pipes in conjunction with mystical and magical sounding percussion, the music gains a greater depth of emotional feeling. Mat and the band have found a very rich and rewarding seam in which to mine and we are all the better for it!

Highly recommended!


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