Review: D’Mar & Gill – Take It Like That

Posted on: Thursday, Nov 5, 2015


D’Mar & Gill – Take It Like That

(Airtight Records)

The experiences of drummer Derrick L. ‘D’Mar’ Martin and guitarist Chris Gill, has again produced a subtle, gentle homage to the living history of rural blues and you can only assume that they live their lives very much away from the fast lane for this is only their second album in five years and it certainly has been worth the wait.

The multi-faceted delta/country blues vocalist and slide guitar player Chris has played many varying forms of music in his career including being the front man of the band Sole Shakers. Derrick also has very firm musical credentials for not only did he provide solid drum work for Little Richard for over fifteen years he also led the band Nu Funk, more recently he has been involved with producing and acting.

On the thirteen numbers here they again provide vocals, guitar and drums but they have also subtlety expanded their aural horizons with the inclusion of Jerry “The Groovemaster” Jemmott on bass and Chris “Kid” Andersen on bass and guitar, Bob Welch provides piano and B3 organ, Aki Kumar; harmonica, Frankie Ramos; saxophone with Lisa Andersen supplying background vocals.

The delta-soaked atmosphere throughout this album is relaxed, mellow and most certainly carefree, the opener “Fell In Love With The Blues”, is a fine example with its soft and tender swinging country feel, the rich picking guitar dances effortlessly with playful brushwork, while the underpinning rolling piano and lazy punctuating harmonica breeze in and out.

The captivating and irresistibly delicious rolling southern slide-driving “Song For Honeyboy” (Honeyboy Edwards), explains how his trusted travelling companion was his guitar and took pride of place on his many journeys. “Souvenir Of The Blues”, is a slowburning, evocative melancholy guitar and sparse drum tale of lost love and the feelings of desolation that lingers long in the memory.

The splendidly memorable hill country-influenced guitar picking on “Dancin’ Girl”, entices you helplessly in and also sees Chris convincingly vocally emulating Howlin’ Wolf as he tenderly bemoans and wails at the disappearance and subsequent loss of his dancing partner of the night before.

Dark and menacing delta guitar exudes bewilderment and underpins the slowburning shuffle that is “Back To Paradise”, which reflects upon present day life, including injustice, poverty, bombings and the very unpleasant skills that children are learning today.

“You Never Know”, possesses a very reassuring gossamer like, fleetingly rural summers day feel, with its very mellow rhythmic slide and brush work, add in Chris’s succulent and rich vocals and you simply float away. “Lonesome For Leavin’”, continues in this vein with a richly picked and evocative drawn out slowburn delta slide and is wonderfully matched with an equally marinated drawling vocal, just lay back and enjoy.



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