'Tasty Nuggets' - Bluesdoodle.com
This is an album that has 13 tracks that are all little nuggets of gold and collectively deliver a wealth of earthy authentic blues music with intriguing and beguiling twists of a variety of roots styles so interest is maintained. This is sunshine music, the opening self-penned number makes you smile as guitar vocals and blues-harp combine to blend and shape the sound that pleases in all the right spots. The two covers on the album have been re-invented Curtis Mayfield’s ‘People Get Ready’ with an opening sequence that draws you in so you are full of anticipation as the silky voice of Mark sings out the lyrics “People get ready there is a train coming…” we instantly recognise – this is a track that takes you on a musical journey with the wonderful gospel style backing vocals and rhythm section that respects the tone and gently leads the beat on. The other cover is Bukka White’s ‘When Can I Change My Clothes’; with a glorious vibe from guitar and slide guitar you are taken deep down into the south and Mark’s voice has a timbre that so suits the lyrics.
The other eleven tracks are all composed by Mark Cole, this is an album that has utilised the freedom of the studio with some inspired guest appearances with electric guitar courtesy of Mike Myers on Downhome Blues giving the track a driving pace and a twang electric this is a get up and dance track with its feet tapping beat. Mike is joined by Jake Carpenter (piano) on ‘Too Little Too Late’ this is squealing blues redolent of Howlin Wolf as the intro guitar moans and sends shiver down the spine again the vocals are to the fore and the music is mellow. On many of the other tracks there is the use of keys from Bill Blair subtly on Thirtynineteen, demonstrates the skills on the harp from Mark Cole combined with drumming that resonates deep in your blues lexicon reminding you of the long shadows of the Delta. Scared of Running has keys weaved into the harmonious blending of sounds that flows along creating the perfect musical tone and backdrop for the vocals which once again are definitely front and centre stage.
This is an accomplished album produced with a light touch so that the music is accentuated, while retaining authenticity of blues played from the heart with passion, Tasty Nuggets is certainly tasty and delivers a platter of tones, textures and grooves so you want to listen from beginning to end and back again on repeat.
Bluesdoodles gives this CD, out of SEVEN doodle paws, a doodle rating of TEN 10/7