The opening bars pull you in with slide that swirls and horns courtesy of The MEP Collection that pick up the Little Red beat in an up tempo number that certainly gives you a hit of blues that has a modern lively twist that engages.
The title track has a different approach with a mix of Canned Heat and Robert Johnson the lyrics that intertwine are definitely some of the standard phrases we have crossroads, midnight, devil, mojo and whiskey but this is a fresh sound that has a swampy driving beat that satisfies.
The sound is swampy, dirty and rough just like Broken Promises there is a hurt that drives to the heart of the music with a beat that condenses misery in the still rather than whiskey, Dave’s vocals groan and grind out the words as the music reinforces the pain. Then the tempo changes Southern Rock guitar takes control and the beat relaxes Remind Me tackles the outcome of War when she thinks he is dead; takes another man and the hook Didn’t See That Coming resonating on times when we all have said. Like the rest of the album there is a twist in the story unfolding through the lyrics and music.
As the lexicon of the blues is explored and developed we have a train whistle in this rocking blues high-octane number where the guitar is king a different take on the train and moving on blues. This is blues that dances along, your feet tap then the dance floor beckons Downhill Shuffle a fast-moving instrumental where the drumming is to the fore adding another tonal texture to the album.
Ending with a country blues number, the harp cries, guitar twangs and the story unfolds in the last track that closes the album with blues that will stay with you.
There are times when the album skits form style to style and fails to embed the essence that is Dave Hunt and his bands, putting that to one-side it is a might good listen.
Whiskey & Demons is a contrast from his previous album Box Full of Blues by his alter ego Harmonica Dave; the quality and depth of blues of every hue are still delivered by fine harp, guitar and vocals from Dave. Whiskey & Demons is an album that has lots of curves as Dave and his band explore every musical shape and approach to the blues in the 12 track journey they wind around the harp but never dominated with the band giving a full sound that determines this album is full of the right sort of musical demons.
Bluesdoodles gives this CD SEVEN doodle paws out of TEN ….
Dave Hunt: Vocals, Harmonica, Guitars, Bass, Mandolin, Drums
Andy Littlewood: Guitars, Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Bass
Mick Simpson: Lead Guitar
Pete Nelson: Drums & Percussion
The MEP Collective: Horns, Brass
1. Little Red
2. Mississippi Blues
3. Whiskey and Demons
4. Roadhouse Rosie
5. Broken Promises
6. Remind Me
7. Sold Me Down The River
8. Alabama Train
9. Downhill Shuffle
10. My Friends
11. Honeysuckle Rose
12. Words Unsaid