Review: The Forrest McDonald Band – Turnaround Blues

Posted on: Thursday, Aug 7, 2014

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The Forrest McDonald Band – Turnaround Blues

(World Talent Records)

Austin, Texas born singer/ guitarist/ songwriter and bandleader Forrest McDonald played the guitar on Bob Seger’s anthemic ‘Old Time Rock & Roll’ and worked with the late Bobby Womack, Jimmy Reed Jr., Doris Troy and a host of others during a musical career spanning around 50 years. Now that blurb made me think this was going to be some kind of blues-rock set, which certainly is not the case. Instead this is a more or less straight blues album, albeit one that encompasses several style of blues.

For starters though, there’s a wonderful slow version of ‘V8 Ford’ borrowed from James Cotton, and besides some excellent blues guitar work by Forrest, it also has a fine vocal by the band’s regular singer Andrew Black and lovely harp by Jon Liebman. Texas, Chicago, guitar blues, harp blues, one single diversion into country (‘Stay Or Walk Away’), great vocals throughout and a couple of electric guitar instrumental workouts to finish off.

Forrest’s tone and attack on this set is that of a bluesman – think Freddy King (‘Woman Across The Ocean’ is based on Freddy’s ‘Woman Across The River’), Robert Jr. Lockwood, Buddy Guy (‘Now I Know’), and Albert King – so that the CD is modern blues without the rock touches, which is becoming an increasingly rare event these days.

There’s an occasional funky rhythm in an Albert Collins vein, but overall, this is the way real blues albums used to be. It’s recommended, of course.

NORMAN DARWEN

www.forrestmcdonald.com

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