Review: Todd Sharpville – Porchlight

Posted on: Sunday, Feb 6, 2011


Todd Sharpville


Here’s one that slipped the net at the back end of 2010.  My apologies to all concerned.

2010’s Porchlight sees a welcome return to the blues world for Todd Sharpville.  While away, he has clearly been busy songwriting as this excellent release is a double CD including a whopping 15 songs.

This beautiful sounding record was produced by the legendary Duke Robillard, and features a handful of high profile special guests including Joe Louis Walker, Duke Robillard, and Kim Wilson.  None of the talent on display is wasted, all play superbly and all showboating is avoided with the song being the important factor.  The album was recorded in the US using Robillard’s touring band hence the high calibre of all the players.

The wry opening track “Lousy Husband (But A Real Good Dad)” is a bouncing shuffle featuring the duelling guitars of Sharpville and Robillard.  This sets the scene for the release, a great song with some killer playing.

The breath of musical styles is demonstrated by “Why does it rain”, a soul flavoured burner featuring some fabulous backing horns led by ex Roomful of Blues baritone sax man Doug James. Whilst the band get down to some New Orleans grooving on “Everything Will be Alright”, there’s some great piano work on this one. If you are a member of the blues police, don’t be worried about the broad styles, everything has a foot firmly rooted in the blues.

The standout song for me is  the album closer “Misery” — It’s a stunning slow blues featuring Kim Wilson playing some of the best harmonica that I heard in the last year.   So much space, so much talent.

It’s clear that Sharpville has put all his devils behind him and come up with an outstanding record that, had it not slipped the 2010 net, would have been one of my top picks for the whole year.

Stunning stuff.  World class musicians at the top of their game. 5/5.


Pete Evans

February 6th, 2011 at 09:10
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