Review: The Sharpees – Mississippi Thrill

Posted on: Wednesday, Jan 21, 2015

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Review for THE SHARPEES – CD – ‘Mississippi Thrill’ – 2014 Self Release

‘The Sharpees’ rhythm and blues band, hail from Guilford in Surrey and give us, as they say, “a fusion of different styles, with elements of blues, rock, and classical”. Their new album ‘Mississippi Thrill’ provides a mix from rock ‘n roll to pop rock with some acoustic playing thrown in for good measure. All the tracks on the album are self penned.

The line up consists of Bill Mead on guitar and vocals, Baz Payne on bass, with Spencer Blackledge on drums. Guesting on the album were Brian Willoughby on guitar, Richard Hayes on slide guitar, Roger Cotton on keys and piano, with Cathryn Craig providing some of the backing vocals.

The first track ‘Tower Of Love’, is a classic rhythm and blues, with hints of The Rolling Stones. Next ‘Strangers’ has some acoustic input and some haunting guitar, it was not unlike Christy Moore’s ‘Ride On’.

‘Play Johnny Play’ is a rockin’ number with a hint of Ian Dury, with some great guitar work. Breaking into a real up tempo foot tapper and the name sake of the album, ‘Mississippi Thrill’ gave us some excellent slide guitar and vocals.

Some more rhythm and blues on ‘Kick Start Me’, while ‘Song For Allie’ delved into the realms of classic rock. ‘Jacky D’ again showed what the influence the Stones has had on the band, but a great take. ‘Crazy Woman Blues’ has a superb intro with a skiffle feel. It is a great up tempo number with class percussion, probably one of my favourite tracks on the album.

‘Clock’ falls into the realms of pop rock, but has a great bass line intro’ and keyboard input, with a competent guitar solo. A change with ‘Trucking The E15′, an uptempo rockin’ track with some great acoustic input which works really well. The final track, ‘Travelling Blues Man’ has a classic rhythm and blues feel, with some excellent guitar and vocals and is a ‘good time’ foot stomper.

The whole album gives you a lift and makes you want to get up and have a boogie. I can imagine seeing ‘The Sharpees’ live is something of a treat, which you don’t quite get on a CD.

Rosy Greer – Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer

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