Ed Dampier: Blues Deluxe Review

Blues Deluxe is the debut album of British-based guitarist Ed Dampier and one listen makes it clear this is a refreshing record, the kind of record to kick back and relax to. The album is a smooth blend of blues, rock ‘n’ roll, and funk all in seven tight instrumental tracks. This is an extremely strong debut and its relatively short length will surely leave listeners wanting another outing.

The album displays impressive range, from the funky “Two Worlds Collide,” which is reminiscent of early the Red Hot Chili Peppers, to “Sidewinder Blues,” a track that sounds exactly the way you imagine it. A nice tune to listen to while on a pleasant drive. There is a melodic ballad, “More Love More Power,” which hints at solo Clapton work. This is a song that displays how nice an instrumental can be; the music is given space and time to breath and flower¬†unencumbered.

Dampier is joined on the album by the highly skilled bassist Yves Fernandez, drummer Ed Carlisle and multi-instrumentalist Andre Antonio. They are all talented musicians and they all make their presence felt on the album, a notable example being Carlisle on the longest selection, “Archipelago.” The song weaves through quiet, atmospheric sections and then bursts with rocking energy and hints at blues and some jazz. Dampier gives way to Carlisle whose fills and breaks standout in the song. The closer, “Cascades,” is a fine way to end the album as it re-affirms Dampier’s talent as a guitarist and as a composer.

One of the many reasons why this album works is because Dampier is magnanimous leader who shares the spotlight so well. The other musicians all work together in a sublime manner and each is given opportunity to shine. The album is also relatively compact at seven moderately long tracks. It does not get bogged down in ten minute solos that are just show-offs, but rather the instrumentals are actual songs. The album is one that is perfect for a listen around the house and will leave audiences keen on more.

The Review: 8/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Sidewinder Blues
– Cascades
– Archipelago

The Big Hit

– Sidewinder Blues

Review by Charlie DuMez

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