Self Release 2014
10 tracks; 45 minutes
On his previous album Rehab & Camel South Australian left-handed guitarist Mick Kidd was in predominantly acoustic mode. This time around he has changed focus and mixes acoustic tracks with electric, supported on most tracks by drummer DD McGee and harp player David Blight; Mick sings, plays all guitars and bass and Emily Kelly provides backing vocals on one cut. Mick had a hand in all the material here with assistance on three songs.
On the last CD Mick’s voice was mixed a little too low but here he is clear and well suited to the material. The album opens with “What Don’t Kill You (Makes You Stronger)”, a mid-paced rocker with David’s harp to the fore. “Free Wheelin’ Feelin’” finds Mick on acoustic finger-picked guitar with slide as David blows sensitively on this gentle instrumental which he co-wrote, the drums also catching the feel with an understated performance. “When My Old Dog Died” is a co-write with Edward (not Elmore!) James, a duo performance with Mick on acoustic and David’s harp keening like a sad dog, Mick’s voice expressing the loss of an old friend. “Voice Inside” brings back the drums on a down-home piece about drinking and relationships. There are not many blues songs about heritage railway lines but Mick has written one in “Duke 621”, singing about a vintage steam train in Australia: “journey back in time on the oldest broad gauge line to a place in time when mighty locos run”. This one is a full production with backing vocals from Emily, buzzing harp from David and steady drumming from DD, Mick again on acoustic and bass.
“Loanshark Blues” was the title of a Rory Gallacher tune but this one is Mick’s, mining a similar vein to Rory in a catchy tune with Mick on electric rhythm and a tasty solo. “Sights Set On You” is another catchy blues while “Sawpit Gully Stomp” is a second instrumental, this time with an Eastern flavour. The tune (and opening verse) of “Tick Tock Blues” bears a strong similarity to Muddy’s “Trouble No More”. The album closes with the solo acoustic “I Just Can’t Hold On”, Mick being joined by co-writer David who adds a plaintive touch on his harp to make this a very effective tune.
The addition of drums on some tracks and the quality of David Blight’s harp playing both add to Mick’s guitar and vocals to make a pleasant and interesting album which fans of acoustic and traditional blues will enjoy.