The Electro Blues & Vintage Remix half hour – Mark II


BJ Barham -Rockingham


There is something so honest about this music that should speak to every person’s inner being. I have no doubt if you went to a BJ Barham show it would sound near enough exactly like the record – Honest, well written and well executed.

BJ’s debut solo album ‘Rockingham’ is a gritty Americana album from someone I don’t know a whole lot about… yet. Released in the UK on Brighton’s At The Helm Records (Also home to Hans Chew & Daniel Meade – Check them both out).

It’s the sort of album I can imagine preceding a supervision of a film soundtrack or television soundtrack – Bear McCreary style.

Fuck it, just go and buy the album, put some headphones on, lie down and listen. You’ll find yourself thinking about your first love, future love, happiness and despair.

As BJ says himself, “the most valuable thing you can give someone’s your time” – And this is well worth the 32 minutes. You won’t regret it (if you do, you’re wrong).

(I wrote this whilst drinking beer and watching Bridget Jones… things got passionate)

BJ Barham

Martin Harley – Mojo Fix

421954_10151350078542815_1896162673_nFor those of you that don’t already know Martin Harley, you have to ask yourselves why the hell you don’t! He is one incredibly gifted guitarist, lap steel player, singer and songwriter that, as far as I can tell, is massively overlooked.

This album is a mixture of blues, country and heavy blues-rock. The blend of styles and sounds (note the stylophone in ‘Outlaw’, and the surf-rock guitar solo in ‘Wrecking Ball’) within this album makes it stand out and be heard – by me at least! The slower ballad type tracks have an air of country grace about them with the lap steel hitting all of those sweet country notes I would hope to expect. The heavier material is simple, effective and mainly groove or riff orientated… and that’s just fine with me. Rock shouldn’t be complicated.

If you want to see the brilliance of Martin’s work just have a listen to ‘Tightrope’ with its lilting bass line accompanied by ukulele-like guitar parts and a beautiful vocal melody, then compare it to ‘Ball & Chain’ with it’s rough and rugged edge, brimming with attitude.  His sheer ability to morph his sound from track to track is incredible.

The only negative thing I can say about this album is I think that the production value is a little bit poor in places with the vocals sitting a bit low in the mix for my liking, but overall the album sounds great – lets see if we can get Martin produced by someone like the Black Keys as an interesting experiment….


My 2 highlights on the album
– Being greeted by the title track Mojo Fix every time doesn’t get old
– ‘Tightrope’ and ‘Rum Shack’ work so well together so well back-to-back!

My 2 lowlights on the album
– As mentioned, the production could do with a little polishing in places I think.
– I have to wait until he releases some more material………!!!

Son Of Dave – Blues At The Grand


An upbeat album from the ex ‘Crash Test Dummies’ member who has been going it alone since the 90’s. This is the first time he has decided to invite extra band members into what would typically be a one-man show. This formula works well in terms of creating attractive songs, but dilutes the attitude and power that I would associate with this harp blown’, foot stompin’ son-of-a-gun!

This album is a funky little number really, without any filler or glaringly bad points to it. A departure from the familiar, but an entirely different beast and perhaps a bit unfair to compare the two. It’s fun and frisky with tracks like ‘Titty Shake’ and album artwork to suggest that you are about to embark on an album released by some blues fixated private investigator who has had too many late nights and cold cups of coffee steakin’ out a joint.

This is exactly the type of album I would have had on repeat in the car, especially through those hot summer days. This might still be my 2014 summer soundtrack – but only time can tell!

My 2 highlights on the album
-‘They Let Too Many People In’ is probably the best track
-‘It’s good to see SoD experiment with a full band

My 2 lowlights on the album
– No real identifiable single(s) – (Ok maybe the track mentioned above!)
– The female vocal harmonies sometimes leave a bitter taste in my mouth.