Album, Single and EP Reviews



  Live & Blue by Bushmaster

Live & Blue cover art

Artist: Bushmaster
Title: Live & Blue
Catalogue Number: 34479-83894
Review Format: CD
Release Year: 2008

There's a way to do things when you play blues guitar and this album from Bushmaster is an object lesson in how to do things. It's a live album that tells it like it is, warts and all. The sound is nothing special but who cares as it's all about coming back from the crossroads inspired and ready to make it all work on stage.

It is also something of an oddity nowadays as most blues albums are polished to an inch of perfection. Here you can damn near smell the sweat.  The band lay down a demon groove but it is Gary D Brown's guitar that sells this set. He's always had the spirit of Hendrix in him (and it's still there in "Drowning on Dry Land") but this time out he plays the kind of laid back but elegant blues guitar that brought back memories of Freddie King. The thing to note is the discipline of his playing, however. The guitar is the star but this recording is a long way from self indulgence. That fret board get worked - that's for sure - but everything is in the right place. Emotion and atmosphere abound. "Thousand Miles from Nowhere" was like time travel to late sixties Chicago and some backstreet blues club with nothing but cigarettes and whisky for company. That's something that is lost on your rock guitarists - that expression of emotion that the true masters of their instrument can bring.

This album has no pretensions. It is rough around the edges but it is the blues and the fact that I have been playing it every day for the last week speaks volumes. I wish I could play guitar like Gary D Brown - I really do.
Review Date: August 31 2008