Review: Climax Blues – Broke Heart Blues

Posted on: Thursday, Mar 26, 2015

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Review for CLIMAX BLUES – CD – ‘Broke Heart Blues’ – 2015 SJPCD465

Originating in the Midlands the ‘Climax Blues’ album ‘Broke Heart Blues’ was completed in 2013 when legendary blues guitar player, Pete Haycock and founder member of the original Climax Blues Band, joined forces with rock legend, Robin George. Sadly Pete died shortly after creation, but the album has now been released to the global market.

This superb album, produced by Robin and Pete and mixed by award winning engineer Klaus Bohlmann, features world class musicians, forming a virtual super group. With Pete Haycock (The Climax Blues Band/ELO) on vocals, guitar and slide guitar, Robin George (Thin Lizzy/The Climax Blues Band) on vocals and guitar, Mel Collins (King Crimson/The Rolling Stones) on sax, Jacquie Williams  (Sister Sledge/M People) on vocals , Charley Charlesworth (Dangerous Music/Life) on bass and  Charlie Morgan (The Elton John Band/Eric Clapton) on drums. Most of the tracks on the album were self penned.

Hitting us with rock and funky blues there is a great ‘big band’ sound, with plenty of multi tracking. The first track ‘Blue Monday’ gives us rock with great sax input and vocals. This is followed by an up tempo rock number ‘Cruel’, with the drums working hard and superb guitar input.

Some raw guitar and great vocals on the 12 bar blues rock, ‘Gossip Is Gold’, then raising the tempo on the funky blues number ‘Miss You So’ with multi tracked horn input and full band sound. Again a ‘full on’ sound with the superb Jacquie sharing the lead vocals on the rocky track ‘The Rubicon’, with some eastern flavours and sexy sax.

Next a Ray Charles classic ‘Lonely Avenue’ and what a great take. Some more basic rockin’ 12 bar to follow on ‘Gotta Get It Right’, with jazzy blues on ‘Blues Song’ – a lovely track with sax, acoustic guitar and electric slide, one of my favourites on the album. Onto the name sake of the album, ‘Broke Heart Blues’, again this gave us some great slide guitar and horn input with funky overtones.

Slowing the pace on ‘Miracle’, which has a magic sax intro’ on this slow epic rock number, with great slide guitar and vocals. On ‘I Feel So Blue’, Jacquie takes the lead vocal, with acoustic guitar input leading into a ‘full on’ band sound with the multi tracking working well. ‘You Ain’t Got The Right’, has an interesting mix of acoustic and electric slide on this blues track. Loved the intro’ and the mix of sounds, so another of my favourites.

The penultimate track ‘Oxygen’, is more on the ‘pop rock’ front with shared lead vocals. The last track on the album ‘Bluesong Acoustic’, is a re-run of a previous number but a more basic version, but it still hits the spot!!

A powerful album with some great musicianship. I think it would be a difficult one to put together in a live take as there is so much ‘work’ on each of the tracks, but a great listen and if you like a big band sound, this certainly has it!

Rosy Greer – Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer

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