Review: Clare Free – Dust And Bones

Posted on: Thursday, May 24, 2012

Clare Free Dust & Bones CD Cover

Clare Free – Dust And Bones
(Funky Mama Records: FMRCD1012)

Clare Free is one of a growing number of female, British singer/guitarists, who are making a significant impact on the UK blues scene. Dust And Bones comprises ten original compositions, which are a testament to Clare’s songwriting ability. She is backed on the album by Dave Evans on bass guitar, Matt Allen on rhythm guitar and Pete Hedley on drums.

The album is opened by the appropriately insistent beat of “Can’t Slow Down”, followed by the equally hard-driven title song. The mood is softened by the funky-edged “Little Miss Jealousy” and “Believe In Me”, which delivers a slightly jazzy feel. The slow and sultry “Stronger Than you Think” leads back to the steady-rocking beat of the earlier tracks in the form of “Small Miracles”, which is the outstanding track of the album.

“Scars”, a slower moving rocker, features a prominent, tasty guitar riff, with more than a hint of Stuart Dixon, while the mood of the somewhat dreamy “Tempted” is true to its title. “My Last Day” is embellished with a funky bass line before “Creepy” re-establishes blues-rock mode to bring the album to a close.

Clare is an imaginative songwriter, tackling less orthodox subject matter such as bullying (“Scars”) and stalking (“Creepy”). She is also no mean guitarist. Her relatively gentle, folksy vocals don’t quite match the vibrancy of her guitar playing but that hasn’t prevented her from being nominated for Best Female Vocalist in the British Blues Awards 2012.

Lionel Ross

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