Review: Dick Farrelly & Mat Walklate – Keep It Clean
Posted on: Friday, Aug 24, 2012
Dick Farrelly & Mat Walklate – Keep It Clean
Whilst visiting Amsterdam in July 2011, Mat met Dick in a bar one evening; Dick was at the time residing in the city. Mat joined Dick onstage; the evening went so well they agreed to record an album together. Dick originally from Ireland has over the years played with such luminaries as; Mary Coughlan, Van Morrison, Mick Taylor and Noel Redding.
So, in a Manchester studio last September the two got together with no particular plans or ideas and nine or so hours later produced a collection of acoustic blues numbers, seven covers and three Mat originals, they all possess the essence of pre-war Blues, which are blended together in a spirit of wistful longings and unrequited desires with a bittersweet longing and optimistic pessimism. The Charley Jordan title number splendidly evokes this magic spell with Mats’ deadpan vocals and his comfortingly jolly harmonica style matched with Dicks’ clean, crisp, relaxed playing.
The mood changes with “Good as I’ve Been to You,” a menacing little tale of the consequences of extra-marital activities, as does the original “24 hours,” Dicks’ unhurried, gentle almost caressing guitar and slide belies the violence of these little tales. The instrumentals allow Mat and Dick to stretch out and display their individual but complementing styles, “Bags’ Groove,” contains a lingering reminder of the ‘Odd Couple,’ theme. “C Jam Blues,” has an urgent toe-tapping train chugging harmonica while Dick provides a tasty rolling pickin’ guitar.
“Black Cat Bone,” is a solemn voiced lament accompanied by gentle mournful harmonica and understated emotive guitar passages. “If It’s Love,” is a simple plaintive offer of love, the laidback playing slowly builds to a swampy Jews Harp ending. Very fine indeed!