Review: Willie & The Bandits – Live At Gouvy

Posted on: Saturday, Oct 18, 2014

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Review for WILLE & THE BANDITS – CD – ‘Live At Gouvy’ – 2014 Self release

Wille & The Bandits are a unique three piece roots, rock and blues band. Their music is difficult to categorize, as they have their own individual sound and a ‘new view’ to songwriting. Their album, ‘Live At Gouvy’, is at present, only available at gigs on their current tour.

Fronting the band on vocals, electric lap slide and guitar is the amazing Wille Edwards, with superb bass man Matt Brooks on electric six string, electric upright bass and backing vocal. The power man Andrew Naumann, is on drums, percussion and backing vocals. The album was recorded live in Gouvy, Begium and most of the tracks are taken from previous albums, Grow, Breakfree, New Breed and Samsara. All tracks are self penned bar one.

Live albums always give the ‘true’ feel to a band and on this album it is no exception. The first track is ‘Keep Your Head Up’, a raw slide driven track with finger picking magic, superb. Following ‘Trouble Down The Line ‘, this was previously released as a single and has high speed blues overtones. ‘Mammon’ is a beautifully put together slow melodic track. Then raising the tempo with ‘Absence’ with great percussion. Some full on slide with some nice harmonies on ‘Keep Moving On’, then with great rootsy rock on ‘Gypsy Woman’, a fabulous track.

The performing Robert Johnson classic number ‘Crossroads’ was done in the bands own individual style, a great take. A change with a brilliant heavy rock number, ‘Virgin Eyes’ with great gravelly vocals. Next ,with solid reggae rhythms and superb drums on ‘Why D’ You Do It?’ One of my favourites, ‘Little Miss Pretty’, has a bass lead intro. It is a magnificent and haunting track leading into some great finger picking guitar and has a bluesy leaning.

‘Chill Out’ is another great track with superb percussion, then onto ‘Galloping Horses’, an up tempo number with ZZ Top rhythms and a rockin’ blues. ‘Running With The Stars’ has an Eastern influence and is a magic track which leads into reggae rhythms.

‘Jack The Lad’ the penultimate track on this class album, is a raw, get down and dirty pure earthy blues with sonic slide. The final track, ‘Angel’ is mysterious, with a jazz influence and a sprinkle of arabic input, giving a great end to a great performance.

The whole album ‘Live At Gouvy’ was buzzin’, taking us on the ‘live’ journey and bringing Wille & The Bandits classic tracks to life on stage with a big sound. Just excellent!

Rosy Greer – Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer

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