Review: Krossborder Kompilation Vol 2 – The Best British Blues

Posted on: Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015

krossborder kompilation volume 2 album cover

Krossborder Kompilation Vol 2 – The Best British Blues

(Krossborder Rekords: KBR20151)

As the title suggests here is the second compilation from Krossborder Rekords showcasing 16 British blues acts . . . some very new, some firmly established and well known, and one, sadly, no longer with us! The first album was released in November 2013 and was in a similar vein, with the aim to showcase up and coming UK bands . . . and on this second offering their is plenty to appeal.

Space would permit a detailed mention for all, but rest assured the quality is high, with all styles of the genre covered. Highlights are the lovely spacy “On The Borderline” from the Welsh-born, Aussie-raised and now UK resident, the non-stop road warrior Gwyn Ashton, as he demonstrates his dynamite guitar work on this previously download-only track; British harmonica maestro Paul Lamb is here, with a track from the splendid duo album with long-time vocalist, Chad Strentz, “Goin’ Down This Road” – the Sonny Terry-style “The Underdog”, with trademark magnificent harmonica and Chad’s fine voice.

The rootsy “Silence Changed” from Jo Bywater has folk and Americana leanings, with her lovely voice and acoustic guitar; with the pace firmly taken up by Japanese guitarist Siachi Sugiyama on the roaring instrumental “Shimmy” – it’s almost a throwback to the glory days of the British blues boom, with additional guitar solo from the great Clem Clempson and equally legendary Zoot Money on Hammond organ – for all fans of Cream, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers and the like.

The Mighty Boss Cats change the style again with a mix that is influenced by Dire Straits and JJ Cale, and their track, “I Need A Friend” is another gem here. Space Eagle, aka Paul Stanbridge, deliver “Cold Drawn”, with the rhythms of the Mississippi hill country – driving guitar and drums, with guest harmonica from Henry Greenwood. The album ends in a slow blues vein with the sadly now defunct outfit, The Bare Bones Boogie Band, with the soulful “Passion And Pain” from their “Tattered And Torn” album.

As a primer to find out more about some of the artists here I would suggest checking out this fine compilation.

GRAHAME RHODES 

www.bluesmatters.com/krossborder-rekords

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