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Smokestack Release New CD
23rd March 2006

Smokestack - 2006
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Smokestack 2006

Smokestack, who have been to the Island for a couple of very successful visits to the Festival, have just released a new CD called "Something on your mind" and a fine one it is too.

Track One: Like most of the tracks on the album the first, "Workin' Man" is written by the band - Phil Mills (Guitars, Harp), Roger Ferris (Bass) and Ali Van Ryne (Drums & percussion). The whole album has a mellow feel to it but this first track sets things going albeit in a very laid back style with a traditional boogie.

Track Two: One of the three covers on the CD, this time it's the Blues standard "I Ain't Superstitious" written by Willie Dixon and this is a highly respectful tribute to this classic tune. Loads of space and, goes without saying, beautifully played.

Track Three: "Messin With The Devil" is another Smokestack original and is so cool it will give you the shivers. Again there is so much air in this track, despite a stack of subtle touches; harmonica, electric, slide and acoustic guitar, vocal harmony etc

Track Four: A self penned rag style acoustic tune called "Weeping Willow Tree" . "I got me a woman they call the weeping willow tree, She lives down by the river and moves so gracefully." Nice.

Track Five: "Something On Your Mind" opens with an homage to the Hawaiian style of slide that immediately set me to thinking about hot sand, palm trees and scented leis. Lovely stuff, you could just drift off... and then the electric guitar breaks you from your reverie, low down and oh so dirty

Track Six: Muddy Waters' "I can't be Satisfied" follows and is a return to the roots of the Blues and the band do this so well they cannot be faulted.

Track Seven: "7 Forty 7" opens with an electric riff that put me in mind of Hendrix but this is a lot less frenetic than that implies and is a very cool, laid back, shuffle with some lovely touches.

Track Eight: "Kernow" is the only instrumental on the album. Written by Phil Mills it is an atmospheric, slide guitar driven paean to the charms of the West Country's greatest asset - Cornwall. I think it is anyway. And if it isn't it should be.

Track Nine: "Mississippi" Fred McDowell was born in 1904 and grew up in Rossville, Tennessee (pop. 291), a small farming community just east of Memphis, north of the Mississippi border and this track, "61 Highway", salutes Fred's skill, talent and memory wonderfully.

Track Ten: The last track, "Hep Cat Rag" on this excellent collection of songs is what it says it is, but nevertheless, more. If this doesn't bring a smile to your face then you really do have the blues, but bad.

This hard working band are an absolutely bullshit free zone and they wear their musical virtuosity with a lightness of touch that many lesser musicians could do well to learn and follow and this, their latest CD, is a worthy addition to anyone's collection. And yes, I am a big, unreconstructed Smokestack fan.

  • More on Smokestack here
  • More on Smokestack's last appearance
        at the Festival here
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        clicking here
  • Click here to check the latest Festival Programme

  •            OTHER NEWS:
    • Festival Licence Granted... Here
      18th March 2006
    • Papa George in finals... Here
      16th March 2006
    • Concert for Chris Milligan... Here
      8th March 2006
    • LLAMA in Devon... Here
      3rd March 2006
    • Stone Creation to play 2006 Festival... Here
      1st March 2006
    • Juliet Turner - Tickets... Here
      18th February 2006
    • Guitar heroes in bath... Here
      18th February 2006
    • Manx Radio Honoured... Here
      17th February 2006
    • Amy Wadge... Here
      16th February 2006
    • W.C.Handy Awards Changes and Nominations... Here
      15th February 2006
    • Zoot Money Trio in Town... Here
      14th February 2006
    • Juliet Turner for Centenary Centre... Here
      13th February 2006
    • Back Door Slam Update... Here
      13th February 2006
    • 2006 Blues Grammy Winners... Here
      12th February 2006
    • John Hammond Interview... Here
      10th February 2006
    • John Hammond Discussion... Here
      6th February 2006
    • Blues Legend For Fest 2006... Here
      4th February 2006
    • Centenary Centre Gigs... Here
      24th January 2006
    • Wilson Pickett 1941-2006 RIP... Here
      20th January 2006
    • John Adams To Quit Touring... Here
      20th January 2006
    • Robert Johnson & Cream Honoured... Here
      10th January 2006

    • For the 2005 News Archive click here

    • For the 2004 News Archive click here

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