Review: John Fairhurst – Hungry Blues

Posted on: Thursday, Nov 8, 2012

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John Fairhurst – Hungry Blues (EP)

(self-released)

Here’s a cracking little five-track EP release from Wigan lad, John Fairhurst, who has been making records since 2008, when his “Joys Of Spring” release gained critical acclaim and since then has been ‘fine tuning’ his music on the road, including prestigious slots at Glastonbury, SXSW and Green Man festivals to name but a few.

On “Hungry Blues” his guitar, harmonica and vocals are mainly just in the company of James Breen’s drums, and together they kick-up a storm . . . to me maybe a meeting of Scottish alt-bluesman Dave Arcari and the likes of Mississippi Hill Country legends such as RL Burnside and Junior Kimbrough, with giants like Robert Johnson . . . a heady brew!

Things get off to an absolute rollicking start on the ‘ass kicking’ “Up On The Hill” with Fairhurst’s gravelly roar and some ‘dirty toned’ slide guitar work, complemented by the driving drum work of James Breen . . . what a great opener! He takes the pace down on the sinister “The Snow Lies Deep”, with some more delicate picked guitar here; “Light My Way” features some tasteful acoustic slide work and another deep and intense vocal.

The country blues of “I Don’t Know” is a joy . . . very Dave Arcari to me, and that’s no bad thing! Again it features James Breen on drums and percussion pushing things along behind Fairhurst’s guitar and harmonica here. The closing title track, “Hungry Blues” sees the duo augmented by Alex Beitzke on harmonium and backing vocals by the eight-strong Hungry Blues Choir . . . it’s a brooding, rambling tune with Fairhurst’s vocal riding on a nice guitar hook.

A very fine recommended release from a young man to look out for in the future, and with dates upcoming supporting blues legend Johnny Winter and lots of shows planned for 2013 it seems we will be seeing and hearing a lot of John Fairhurst.

GRAHAME RHODES

www.johnfairhurst.com

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