Review: Mike Osborn – In The Dog House

Posted on: Wednesday, Dec 31, 2014

Mike Osborn – In The Dog House

(Je Gagne MOB-CD-02)

Not to be confused with the Michael Osborn who played guitar for John Lee Hooker’s Coast to Coast Blues Band back in the 80s, this Mike Osborn was born in Illinois but is also a California based guitarist, though with more of a blues-rock approach than his namesake.

Our Mike began playing rockabilly, metal, religious music and blues back in the 80s but took a break from music in the 90s to raise his children before returning to the blues in 2006. He has a tough but flexible voice, and a guitar style than can range across vintage Buddy Guy to Eric Clapton to Stevie Ray Vaughan.

‘Tied Up’ is a fairly straight blues performance and many of the other songs on the first half of the album are hard-edged blues-rockers occasionally with Mike breaking out his wah wah pedal. ‘Cheap Women’ introduces a country flavoured interlude – a country flavoured rocker harking back to Mike’s early days, whilst ‘Veteran’s Song’ is what used to be called country-rock, though with a blues guitar break -, or maybe it should be defined as “Americana”.

Before the end though Mike returns to blues-rock with the boogie of ‘Jump In Your Fire’ and the tough guitar instrumental ‘The Dog House’. A fine set then, don’t be deterred by the country stylings, they fit in just fine and add variety – though as Mike is such a talented musician, it is not necessary as such!


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