Jesse Davey: Big Blues Review

Jesse Davey from the premier British Blues band of the ’90s, The Hoax, has been a very busy guy since they broke up producing short films, other artists’ music videos, working with other artists like Ringo Starr, Mick Jagger, and Dave Stewart and occasionally dropping little tracks here and there on Bandcamp.  Lucky for us he has picked up the guitar again to produce a full solo album while teaming up with various vocalists to give us Big Blues.

It’s almost The Hoax on the B.B. King staple “How Blue Can You Get” as Hoax vocalist High Coleman and Drummer Mark Barrett back up Jesse’s B.B. style fills throughout the song. Pete Gage lends his gravel soaked voice to the traditional blues of the Davey penned “Rain On My Pillow.” Things take a strange but interesting turn on the instrumental “Scrub Jay Blues.” There’s a repeating phrase in the breaks that is rhythmically just out of sync and sounds like it might be played from the portion of the string past the zero fret on the headstock. At first, it really throws you for a loop but the more you listen to the song the more you appreciate the unique approach. Pete returns to pen with Jesse on “Made It On My Own,” which is more of the traditional blues.

The title track lives up to its name, “Big Blues,” as the great British Vocalist Ian Siegel makes an appearance on this slow blues. Jesse really lets loose on this one and delivers some stunning guitar work during the solos that just blows this one away. Another traditional blues returns Pete Gage to the microphone for “The Crow.” Ash Wilson picks up the vocal duties for the rockin’ and rollin’ groove of the “The Revelator.” “Fast Boy” is another instrumental and it lives up to its name as Jesse rips up and down the fretboard. For “Chain Smokin,’” Jesse plays the piano to lay down a repetitive groove that underpins things while Pete Gage makes one more appearance on the excellent track where Jesse again rips off some great guitar work on the solos that will leave you wanting more. The album closes out with the rolling rhythm of “I Can’t Get It Together” sung and co-written with Ian Siegal who provides a nice slide guitar solo to cap everything off. Especially interesting is the ambient room sound that crops up occasionally when you can hear the musicians grunting or crying out between their solo breaks. If you find the extended version of the album, which happens to be on Bandcamp, you will be treated to two additional tracks. Both the same instrumental song “Downward Spiral” but featuring Scott McKeon and Tommy Katona both on the guitar on one and Tommy Katona and Sam Bratley of the British band The Black Circles playing the guitar on the second.

While there is plenty of traditional blues structure to the songs on this album these are anything but your traditional blues sound. Jesse’s playing is unique and fresh and fans of The Hoax, traditional blues, and even pure rock fans will find something to appreciate on Big Blues.

The Review: 9/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Big Blues
– Scrub Jay Blues
– Chain’ Smokin’
– I Can’t Get it Together.

The Big Hit

– Big Blues

Review by Kevin O’Rourke

Buy the album: Amazon

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