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MP3 Andrew Swann - Southside Blues

Recalls the immediate post-war blues, the time of T-Bone Walker and early John lee Hooker.

13 MP3 Songs
BLUES: Acoustic Blues, BLUES: Mellow Blues


Longtime blues devotee Andrew Swann''s
impressive CV boasts extensive experience
playing with household names at home
and abroad from the realms of blues, iazz;
rock and pop. Over many years touring
worldwide, Swann''s broad versatility as
a drummer has been well established. A
onetime music student at the Victorian
College of the Arts, Swann is also a
composer who plays piano, guitar and
harmonica. Southside Blues, as well as
demonstrating his proficiency on the latter
two instruments, exhibits Swann''s
competent vocal abilities across a range
of traditional blues and gospel selections.
With a voice resembling that of Randy
Newman, he performs three original tunes
and ten others in a country blues format
aided sparsely by piano, bass, drums and
percussion backing.
A raw, no-frills project, this three-quarter hour
recording made at Preston Studios in
Melbourne avoids overdubs and technical
embellishments retaining an authentic air
consistent with its vintage material. Three
songs - the lazy ''Automobile'' and ''Katie
May'' and the upbeat ''Fan lt''- are sourced
from Lightnin'' Hopkins, obviously a major
inspiration. Among others derived from
Jimmy McCracklin, JimmyWitherspoon and
Blind Willie Johnson sit uncluttered takes
on Bob Dylan ''lt Takes a Lot To Laugh,
It Takes a Train to Cry'' and Willie Dixon''s
''Wang Dang Doodle''. Inserting occasional
lead fills, Swann plays a steady acoustic
rhythm guitar largely devoid of
fundamental riff-based structures. His
electric guitar - in distortion mode adding
grit to ''Move Me'' and in a smooth-toned
setting for ''Bleedin'' Heart''- evokes a
sound reminiscent of Sam Phillips'' early
''5os Sun Studio waxings. Swann plans a
second Southside Blues instalment where
he will explore the domain of city blues.
Based on this exercise, it too should be a
CD worth a listen.
Al Hensley – Rhythms magazine, Sept 2004

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