David Lumsden – Rooted in the Blues
David Lumsden spent his youth enjoying rock from the late 1950s and 1960s and by reading the liner notes began to appreciate blues music by the folks those bands were covering. Unlike people like me, he picked up a guitar and began to learn the chords and riffs and gained real prowess in his guitar skills. He’s played with a number of great acts and spent 2011 to 2017 as the lead guitar player for Hurricane Ruth. In 2018 he went out on his own and has now delivered two great albums for all to enjoy. The band here features Lumsden on guitar and vocals, Gary Davis handles the bass, Jim Engel is on drums, Tim Bahn is on the organ, keys and piano, Ian Buschmann plays sax, and Chris Camp adds his harp on a track.
Lumsden begins with a classic song “I Wouldn’t Lay My Guitar Down,” an Eddy Clearwater cut in a Chuck Berry style. He and the band do an excellent job getting the listener hooked as they drive this hot song along with feeling. I was impressed and left waiting for more and I did not have to wait long. An original is next, “Runaway (Blues Train),” which is a great, high energy instrumental which highlights David’s guitar and gives us his interpretative train sounds. Camp’s harp makes an appearance here. Well done to all! “Ruthless Boogie” builds on a John Lee Hooker sort of groove delivered in a heavy rock and roll manner. He borrows from the music styles he enjoyed in his youth and delivers another fine original cut. I suppose the title gives notice to Hurricane Ruth from her former bandmate, too. He next turns the classic “Hound Dawg” into a funk number with heavy guitar, sax and piano accompaniment that is a cool interpretation. Next up is “Your Memory” which was written by jazz guitarist Greg Pasenko, a friend of Lumsden. It’s a pretty ballad and offers the listener a moment to reflect as Lumsden plays acoustic guitar. It’s a nice change of pace and Andon Davis helps out on guitar.
Lumsden nails it in his song “Hooked on Something” where he plays some hot and heavy blues rock guitar for the listener to savor. Reggie Britton sings on this cut. He then gives us an instrumental version of the Steely Dan hit “Josie” that pays homage to the original guitar sound as Lumsden places his own stamp on it, too. He follows that with the blues standard “Everyday I Have the Blues” and gives the listener his take on classic Chicago blues. “Ode to Jimi (Slow Burn) follows, an over-the-top instrumental guitar number that leaves the listener floored; there is some cool stuff here in the powerful cut. The album concludes with a love version of the Kenny Wayne Shepherd hit “Everything Is Broken.” Lumsden lets it all hang out and makes for a breathless, high-powered finish for the album. The bassist’s son Kylan Davis handles the lead vocals on this live add on track.
This is Lumsden’s second solo album, coming after his 2018 debut Hues of the Blues. He doesn’t hold much back and plays his guitar to make you notice. I enjoyed the album; I must say that David surely has built on the success and music from his first album to delivers a cool mix of original and cover tunes for all to enjoy!