Down in the Alley Records
CD: 10 Songs, 38:14 Minutes
Styles: Contemporary Electric Blues Rock, Blues Covers
If there’s one thing British/Kentucky-based Screamin’ John and TD Lind know how to do, it’s make a helluva first impression. Their new album Gimme More Time begins with “Big Bad Coraline,” a blistering blues stomp that should find its way onto BB King’s Bluesville pronto. From there it continues to build in intensity and dance-ability, climaxing with “Hot Walker Blues” and cooling it down a bit with the title track. There are only four original songs on the CD, which is a shame because Screamin’ John and TD have a boatload of professional talent. Why perform overdone covers like Little Walter’s “Last Night” when one’s own “Four Roses Blues” packs just as much of a punch? From start to finish, this duo puts a postmodern twist on traditional styles such as Chicago, Louisiana and Piedmont blues.
Vocally, TD Lind is reminiscent of John Fogerty and Sean Costello, with just a touch of Tim Langford of Too Slim and the Taildraggers. As for Screamin’ John? “It took him a couple months to warm up to the idea of a record by a lead guitarist who didn’t sing,” the CD liner notes explain. Yours truly is glad he did, because otherwise, this hot-sauce explosion wouldn’t have reached her ears.
The website East of 8th features a candid interview with the band regarding its origins. “‘My dad owned a pawn shop and a music store when I was kid. If you ever want to meet blues musicians, a pawn shop is a great place to start,” John jokes. ‘There’s just not much money in it. I was always around blues musicians, it’s where I started, and I never really left.’ ‘The first music I listened to was the blues,’ recalls TD. ‘My father taught me boogie-woogie on the piano when I was four. I always wanted to be Little Richard,’ he laughs. ‘All the music downloaded on my phone to this day was made between 1919 and 1956. I’m stuck in that era.’”
Performing along with our two blues protagonists are bassist Jeff Crane, Joel Pinkerton on harmonica and Paul Culligan on drums and percussion.
The following original tunes take the cake on this album, making blues-rock fans crave more.
Track 01: “Big Bad Coraline” – “She ain’t no lady,” TD Lind warns when speaking of this “pistol-packing mama.” Screamin’ John’s guitar proves how and why he got his stage name. Listen closely and you’ll hear Joel Pinkerton’s harmonica sneak in a few words during this boisterous ballad. It’s as raw and satisfying as an unfiltered cigarette. What it lacks in polish, it makes up for a hundredfold in power.
Track 06: “Gravy Train Rider” – Get ready for a rip-roaring trip down a perilous guitar track. The lyrics may be a bit hard to decipher, but no matter. Listen to the instrumentation as it blasts like a locomotive’s whistle. “Don’t need no gravy train rider to run my engine down,” Lind says, referring to freeloaders who waste his time, productivity, and money. This song won’t waste yours.
Track 09: “Four Roses Blues” – Sultry and serpentine, with a slightly Latin beat, number nine is an ode to a beauty as well as a brand of bourbon. If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, is the way to a woman’s heart through her liver? Savor Screamin’ John’s guitar solo.
This CD’s only flaw is that it’s too short, so Screamin’ John and TD Lind? Gimme More Time!