Review: Tim Aves & Wolfpack: Never Saw Chester

Posted on: Thursday, Aug 28, 2014

Tim Aves & wolfpack CD 2014.jpg


(Square One Records: Square 035)

All the way from the ‘Essex Delta’, Tim Aves & Wolfpack have put together their splendid second album, ‘Never Saw Chester’. Inspired by Howlin Wolf, the excellent new CD gives us a mix of many of the ‘Wolf’s’ classic numbers, along with some self penned tracks by Tim.

A line up of ‘class’ musicians, with Tim Aves on main vocals, harmonica and guitar, Joel Fisk on outstanding slide and electric guitar with backing vocals, Rob ‘Tank’ Barry on bass and Paul ‘Dougie P’ Lester on drums. Guests on the album were Dale Storr on keys, with Dave ‘Werewolf’ Richardson and Jane English on some backing vocals.

This super album opens with this Willie Dixon number ‘I Ain’t Superstitious’, a classic blues rock track with a great heartfelt guitar solo and a rhythm section doing a fantastic job. Following some super slide guitar, on the ‘Wolf’s ‘The Red Rooster’, gave us a class acoustic take, with great vocals from Tim.

A self penned track and the name sake of the album, ‘Never Saw Chester’, is a tribute to the late, great Howlin Wolf. With funky rhythms and some excellent Hammond input and guitar work. Then onto the Wolf’s deep, dark number ‘Evil’, sung to perfection by Tim. Some great fuzz on the guitar giving an excellent authentic sound taking us back to the Delta.

‘Back Door Man’ was a total ‘wow’ for me. The Willie Dixon number that the ‘Wolf man’ made his own, was performed with perfection. Great vocals and blues harp from Tim and wild slide guitar from the amazing Joel Fisk, brilliant. Next a self penned upbeat country rhythm and blues number, ‘Delta Angel’. Super slide on the resonator, love it!

Onto one of my favourites on the album, ‘Your Funeral And My Trial’ by Sonny Boy Williamson. A great up tempo 12 bar blues with superb harp, with the whole band playing ‘the blues’ as it should be played. Fantastic guitar solo and great rhythm section. This is followed by ‘Who’s Been Talking’, well put together a classic blues.

Absolutely loved the self penned track, ‘Wageslave’. Haunting harp playing and guitar work with plenty of fuzz and reverb on this rockin’ number, just excellent. A great harmonica intro’, leads us on to the classic Willie Dixon number ‘Wang Dang Doodle’. Done in the style of John Lee Hooker, with shades of vintage Canned Heat spring to mind. Brilliant slide guitar yet again.

The final track on this exceptional album is another Willie Dixon number, ‘Built For Comfort’. A great classic 12 bar blues with some class acoustic slide from Joel and harp playing from Tim, superb.

A fabulous album from a fabulous band, all working together to create a truly authentic sound but with an individual take. Definitely recommended!

Rosy Greer – Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer

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