A straight up CD of traditional electric blues next and a good one it is too. The 2008 winners of the MBA for Best New Artist debut their fifth disc on September 17th. The Waterloo-based quartet has certainly found a sweet spot here with what they call their ‘garage blues’. Mike Elliott is the guitarist and vocalist, Chris “Junior” Malleck is on harp, Steve Toms on bass and Jeff Wagner on drums. Elliott is an excellent singer & guitarist, with Junior’s harp as a co-lead, often doubling the guitar part, a bit different from the norm. Their mix of ‘hard-drinking house rockers and heart-wrenching soul searchers’ is programmed very well indeed, with the title song, a solid rocker, leading off – short & sharp. The soulful “Lonely” shows they’ve got the second part well covered too – good melody & arrangement, lyrics sung with conviction. “Borrowed Time”’s infectious groove makes it a highlight and it has a nice guitar solo too. “40 Hours” covers the hard drinking part, with help from “Get Drunk And Be Someone” & “Half Pint”. Overdone perhaps but bands do play in bars, don’t they. “Dug My Own Grave” turns the wattage down a bit for a slow blues that concludes the disc nicely. It’s a particularly good example of the band’s ability to tackle the usual subject matter in non-hackneyed ways. Some unadorned bar band blues, no guests, no extra instruments, it’s exactly what you’ll hear when you see them next. Check out www.daddylonglegs.ca to find out where and when.

John's Blues Picks September 2013 - Donald Ray Johnson
John's Blues Picks September 2013 - Ben Sures