Every musical genre has its clichés. There are as few heavy metal tracks about unicorns as there are Rap songs about respecting women and learning to appreciate what little you’ve got. Blues certainly isn’t an exception to this rule as armies of middle aged, white Englishmen will attest, taking to the stage at open mic blues nights to sing about “goin’ down to the roadhouse” and how their baby has done gone left them.
All of this makes me very happy that the new Eric Street Band album is soon to be released on Southside Music.
For those unfamiliar with the other E-Street Band, their last album, the Journey, was a masterpiece of dirty bottle-neck slide guitar and lyrical originality. Their soon-to-be released offering, titled the Drifter, ploughs the same whiskey-soaked furrow.
The essence of good ol’ fashioned blues is still there, songs about drinking, dancing and one stands, usually followed by early mornings on the road out of town, are all there. What Eric Street Band does is to own these stories. They aren’t singing about a 1920s black American riding the roads, they’re singing about four old British guys doing it, and that truth makes the image that much stronger.
It helps that the band is fronted by Denis Siggery, a man whose voice is equal parts Rod Stewart, Roger Daltry and a 72 hour bourbon binge, and that he’s supported by three of the most competent Blues musicians in Britain. But that’s no reason why bands with healthy lungs and livers shouldn’t learn a lot from this.
The rest of us, we just get the joy of listening to it.
Tour dates and albums available at www.ericstreetband.com