Oliver Darling – Lee’s Blues
11 songs time – 32:23
After years working as a guitarist with artists such as Tanita Tikaram, Mike Sanchez, Geraint Watkins and touring in Imelda May’s band, Oliver recorded this, his first solo album. The UK singer-acoustic guitarist enlisted a few musicians to provide bare bones backing. From his usual live band he enlisted drummer Dean Beresford and upright bass player Al Gare. A few others make occasional appearances. The result is a collection of originals and cover songs delivered in a rather laid back setting.
The title song “Lee’s Blues” is a jaunty instrumental where he is backed by snare drum and upright bass. He approaches Skip James’ “Devil Got My Woman” at a slower pace than the original and with a country drawl to his vocal delivery. Rollo Markee provides harmonica. A rather long finger-picked guitar intro kicks off Big Bill Broonzy’s “Glory Of Love”. His vocal is commanding here as elsewhere throughout the proceedings.
Rollo does an energetic turn on his harp on “Got Love”, backed by snare and backing vocals. Oliver breaks out some funky down-home acoustic slide guitar “Don’t Think That I’m Crazy Anymore”. A Bo Diddley beat is employed on the original “Honey Bee” to good effect with guitar, harmonica and bass moving along at a nice clip. Joe Glossop lends his piano to the tale of warning “(You Should Be) Worried About Your Woman”.
Just guitar and tapping foot on the melancholy “Anne”. “Champagne And Caviar” is a jazzy closing time piano driven ditty. Bob Loveday adds his zippy violin skills to Sam Chatmon’s snare drum driven “She’s My Baby”. Accompanied solely by his acoustic finger-picked guitar on the lovely country-ish “I’m Your Guy”.
This UK guy has his country blues finger-picked guitar sound down while keeping it fresh and pumping new blood into a few cover songs along with his crafty original tunes. All unencumbered, nicely flowing music like a front porch get together in the Delta. I can here that ol’ hound dog barking off in the distance. Do yourself a favor and pick this gem up.