Gecko Yell Records
Coming direct from Finland, Jukka “Black River Bluesman” Juhola and “Andy” Bad Mood Hudson are a duo act with a number of recordings under their belt. Juhola handles the lead vocals while accompanying himself on Lowebow guitars, a custom version of the cigar box guitar, produced by Johnny Lowe in Memphis in a number of configurations and tunings. Hudson plays drums as well as adding backing vocals to an all-original batch of songs.
They create a distortion-laden wall of sound full of droning slide guitar tones riding ponderous drum beats. The title track opens the disc with Juhola barking out lyrics over accompaniment that resembles the Mississippi Hill country sound, minus the finesse and at a considerably louder volume level. “Big Alligator” continues in the heavy vein while “Latest Stranger” and “Gasoline” could be the duo’s attempts to emulate Black Sabbath.“Bucket Hot Water” finds Juhola playing in a more traditional manner while chanting, then shrieking mundane lyrics.
“Chicken Song” slows the pace, allowing the band to establish a more traditional blues sound. The frenzied approach is back on “Candy Box Blues,” “Knock Knock,” and “Digital Ghost,” causing the songs to blend together into a continuous cacophony of hard-edge sounds. The disc ends with “Going Down With The Lowebow” as the the two men repeatedly sing the title line while Juhola rips off taut licks from his instrument.
Black River Bluesman and Bad Mood Hudson have a unique insight into blues music. Fans of cigar box guitars and listeners who are open to a more modern rendering of blues may find this approach appealing.