Review: Doghouse Sam & His Magnatones – Knock Knock

Posted on: Friday, Oct 17, 2014

Doghouse Sam & His Magnatones – Knock Knock

(Music Avenue/ Blues Boulevard: 250366)

This European trio makes a big, big noise with just a guitar, upright bass and a drum kit! There are some tough blues here, even a Papa Lightfoot flavoured piece (leader, singer and guitarist Doghouse Sam – a.k.a. Wouter Celis – also plays some mean blues harp here) and the power of his vocals is also demonstrated in no uncertain terms with a couple of almost a cappella numbers… but good though these are, what these guys do best is rocking the blues, as on the opening ‘Something Wrong’, with its hints of rockabilly along with the driving slide guitar in front of the powerhouse rhythm section of Jack O’Roonie on bass and Franky Gomez on drums.

‘Kings & Queens’ has more traditional rock and roll sound, lurching rhythm and hiccoughy vocals, whilst the title track is a little akin to Dale Hawkins’ Southern hit ‘Suzie-Q’ and the catchy ‘Road’ has hints of country – or is it called Americana these days? – before it is back to a 50s sound for ‘All It Takes’. ‘All I Need Outta You’ is a fine rocking blues, with some tough slide guitar, ‘Time Takes Care’ has a spooky bayou sound, whilst ‘Ce Qui Est Fait Est Fait’ (“what’s done is done”) is mostly in English and has a strong vocal over dustbin lid drumming.

‘Scratch A Lie’ has a rocking Memphis sound and ‘You Snooze You Lose’ a 50s R&B sound, not quite preparation for the 60s styled Indian-flavoured intro to the immense rocker ‘Fine Ain’t Good Enough’ (and how many blues tracks do you have that reference Star Trek’s Captain Kirk?) before the proceedings close out with Sam’s solo vocal ‘Tell A Tale’.

The only reservation I have is the short playing time – just 35 minutes – although in one sense that only adds to the authenticity of this release. Those familiar with the one-time Alligator act The Paladins will have an idea of how this album sounds, and if you like your blues to rock, check it out.

NORMAN DARWEN

www.doghousesam.info

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