Review: BabaJack – Running Man

Posted on: Sunday, Oct 27, 2013

babajack - running man.jpg

BabaJack – Running Man

(Running Rooster Records: RRRCD7125)

Their music is described as being – “recognisably infused by early blues, but by no means bound by it. Becky brings roots/ funk/African rhythms and her beautiful lyrical voice, and Trevor brings his own flavour of punk meets Ry Cooder!”

This album has moved them away from their normal line up, fronted by Becky Tate on vocals, cajon, African drum and stomp and Trevor Steger on wine box guitar, guitar and harmonica, now with the addition of Tosh Murase on drums, Adam Bertenshaw on bass and Julia Palmer Price on cello.

All tracks, bar one, were written and arranged by Tate/Steger and the album was produced by Adam Fuest and BabaJack

The first track, and the name sake of the album, ‘Running Man’, gave us some superb vocals from Becky and guitar work, harmonica and backing vocals from Trevor. It is a up tempo number with a pounding drum beat. This leads onto another unique track, ‘Coming Home’ with delightful bowed cello, with superb rhythms.

‘Breathe’ is a haunting track with great guitar, cello and bass all working well with Becky’s voice. Although I missed Becky’s input on the cajon on the next track, ‘Rock n’ Roll Star’ a jazzy, beaty number, was a pleasing track with some nice slide guitar.

‘Falling Hard’ is one of my favourite tracks on the album. It has an Eastern European feel with magic harmonica and great strings and it is so well sung by Becky. Superb! Another favourite is a great arrangement of the Son House classic, ‘Death Letter’. Fantastic raw slide guitar and great use of stomp box or background bass.

With true BabaJack versatility, a more ‘folky’ number, ‘Everyday The Same’ , which is a nice rhythmic track with harmonica, cajon, drums and cello. This is followed by a track in the style of a classic convict work song ‘Hammer And Tongs’, with just Becky on vocals and stomp box and Trevor on harmonica, excellent.

The next track ‘I’m Done’, is in the traditional BabaJack style, with some great slide guitar from Trevor and superb vocals from Becky, getting back to the ‘roots’. The last number on the album is more up tempo, again with some interesting rhythms. Again I missed Becky on percussion for this track, but it was well put together, with a bit of a 60’s feel.

All in all a terrific album …. but one wouldn’t expect any less from this superb rootsy band, they are certainly worthy of their success in the British Blues Awards for the last two years.

ROSY GREER – Lancashire Blues Archive

(Sleeve pic by Colton Halls)

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