Review: .44 Pistol – Live At The Vaults

Posted on: Saturday, Mar 15, 2014

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.44 Pistol – Live At The Vaults

A get down and dirty, raw, rootsy blues band is how I would describe.44 Pistol. Hailing from the Stafford area their exciting live new album, ‘Live At The Vaults’, gives a great insight into the down to earth blues they produce.

Pete Wearn on vocals, harmonica and slide guitar, Ash Jones on guitar and backing vocals, and Mick Askey make up this interesting trio. Some of the tracks on the album are self penned or are traditionally arranged classic blues standards. The album was recorded live at Market Vaults in Stafford, engineered and mixed by Tom Wojtulewicz and mastered by Doug Rouxel.

First up ‘Help Me’, originally recorded by Sonny Boy Williamson, is a rolling mid tempo 12 bar blues. It is well performed with harmonica input. Next a self penned upbeat R&B number ‘Salvation’. This has a great guitar solo.

With harmonica, driving rhythms and raw guitar on this Slim Harpo’s up tempo 12 bar rocky blues, ‘Got Love If You Want It’ , the guys laid down a great sound which was one of my favourite tracks on the album. On to a Lighnin Hopkins standard ‘Let Me Play With Your Poodle’, an excellent rockin’ 12 bar blues.

The classic blues song ‘Baby Please Don’t Go’ was reminiscent of the early works of Them. Followed by the self penned track ‘Born In The Borderlands’, which got ‘down and dirty’ with an earthy raw feel.

‘The Sun Goes Down’ , another self penned track, has a swamp rock earthy feel. While ‘Wish I Was In Heaven’, a classic Delta blues, has some great slide guitar, show casing the drums with some Bo Diddley rhythms and gusty vocals.

The traditional Elmor James number, ‘Shake Your Money Maker’, was a great rockin’ track with excellent harmonica. Some class slide guitar on the raw R&B number, ‘What’d I Say’ by Ray Charles.

The standard blues ‘Forty Four Pistol’ and the name sake of the band, had some drivin’ slide guitar, as did ‘Shake Them Down’ which was a great rockin’ blues. I believe Pete Wearn uses his home made guitar for the authentic delta sound. An excellent sound whatever.

The final track on the album was the great r&r classic ‘Got My Mojo Working’, great for audience participation and especially for a live album.

I enjoyed the fact that the album wasn’t ‘polished’. It gave a ‘what you see is what you get’ flavour and the energy of the band was evident. A great snapshot into the live performance and I hope I will catch these guys at a gig in the near future.

ROSY GREER – Lancashire Blues Archive

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