Review: Joel Fisk & The Breakdown – The Well

Posted on: Saturday, May 2, 2015

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Review for JOEL FISK & THE BREAKDOWN – CD – ‘The Well’ – 2015 JFB001

‘Joel Fisk & The Breakdown’ take on classic blues on this exceptional album, ‘The Well’.

Joel Fisk comes into his own on class vocals, guitars and Hammond. His guitar playing has it all and he has perfected an amazing slide style on acoustic and electric guitars. Completing the band are Geoff Johnson on guitar and backing vocals, Rob ‘Tank’ Barry on bass and Stephen ‘Cupsey’ Cutmore on drums and percussion with guests Jon Amor and Ian Siegal on guitars and vocals

The first track, a 12 bar blues, ‘Stop Breaking Down’, has excellent guitar and slide guitar. Jon Amor was a guest on this track on guitar. Upping the tempo with ‘Bad Boy’ gives us hard working drums from Stephen and rockin’ slide. Continuing with the 12 bar, ‘Stranger Blues’ and the classic Robert Johnson’s ‘Travelling Riverside Blues’ gives us some great guitar input.

‘Howlin’ For My Darling’ raises the tempo on this Willie Dixon number, rockin’ it up with some super slide. Bringing in some country blues with ‘Crow Jane’ shares a mix of guitar textures. Then onto the traditional ‘John The Revelator’ with basic rhythms and great slide guitar.

Probably my favourite track on the album, was a Charlie Patton number ‘Oh Death’, with resonator slide guitar and interesting use of wah wah on electric slide. The band were joined by Ian Siegal for the penultimate track, ‘Grinnin’ In Your Face’ , which is a work song with a gospel feel. The final number on this interesting album, ‘Last Fair Deal Gone Down’, is a hillbilly country blues, a lively take with guests Jon Amor and Ian Siegal adding to the flavour.

Joel Fisk has produced a CD with true blues input with ‘The Well’. The whole album is not over mastered, so leaving some of the rawness which is appropriate to the blues. An enjoyable listen.

Rosy Greer – Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer

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