Gavin Povey – When I Hear Rhythm $ Blues | Album Review

Gavin Povey – When I Hear Rhythm $ Blues


CD: 10 Songs, 45 Minutes

Styles: Piano Blues, Solo Album

Blues music is like Baskin Robbins’ ice cream. It’s all blues (or ice cream), but its multiple instrumental varieties are tantalizing. The piano-flavored kind, as Ireland’s Gavin Povey plays on his new album, is akin to maple walnut: a combination of sweet and salty, full of old-fashioned flavor. When I Hear Rhythm $ Blues – the dollar sign’s intentional – is a scrumptious collection of ten tasty tracks. Six are original concoctions, the other four luscious classics: “At the Fatman’s” (Sy Oliver), “Chocolate Jesus” (Tom Waits), “House of the Rising Sun” (traditional with a new arrangement), and “Love Potion No. 9” (J. Leiber and M. Stoller). Povey’s voice is clear and comforting, like the Good Humor Man’s. On piano, he’s plenty good without grandstanding. He knows he doesn’t have to show off (too much) in order to give audiences what they crave. Gavin’s also super as a solo artist, relying on his own well-developed talent.

Povey began learning piano at age five, discovering rhythm and blues at age thirteen when he heard a 78-RPM recording of Albert Ammons and Pete Johnson performing “Boogie Woogie Man.” Gavin realized that what his piano tutor was teaching him was not what he wanted to learn! A lifetime of touring and recording followed, with such names as Kirsty McColl, Dave Edmunds (U.S, Japan, and world tours), Dion, Shakin’ Stevens (15+ top ten UK hit singles, including “Merry Christmas Everyone”), Albert Lee (2014 album Frettening Behaviour), plus many other artists. After many years and many travels, Gavin has finally achieved his long-time dream of playing his own songs with his own band.

Kicking off this CD is some good medicine from “Dr. Blues,” a bouncy ballad that’ll put some spring in your step, even if life’s not going well. “Some of the Parts” adds some nightclub-jazz atmosphere and the message that it takes all kinds of people to play the blues. “Continental Cowboy, perhaps the finest song on the album, is perfect for a slow dance or a repose in one’s favorite chair on the front porch. Not to be outdone, “St. Domonic’s Highway” features an intricate intro and a devil-may-care vibe. “You got no time to work out how to make it, and even less time [for] trying to fake it,” Povey warns, whether in the blues scene or life in general. Last but not least comes the title track, intending to leave you in as good a mood as when you started listening. It’s an homage to New Orleans, spicy and suave in equal measure. Savor it carefully.

When I Hear Rhythm $ Blues is a scoop of mouth-watering music from Gavin Povey!

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