John Francis Carroll
Recorded live in the studio with Andrew Hehir on drums, “Blues Instrumentals’ is an acoustic instrumental tribute to the music of Elvis, John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Leadbelly and more..
REVIEW -- “BLUES INSTRUMENTALS” By John Francis Carroll It’s market time, Saturday morning. I park my shopping trolley and grab my much needed first coffee. In the lane sits an unassuming guy in a pork pie hat playing an acoustic guitar. Man, that is “Albatross” he is playing and he is nailing it. Another time, it is “Needle And The Damage Done” and yet again Midnight Oil’s classic “Wedding Cake Island”. I finally shell out for a copy of “Blues Instrumentals”, John’s latest album. It reveals the same diversity of music that I hear in that market lane. Despite the title, there is a range of soul, C & W and traditional folk songs. There is a strict tempo version of the traditional folk song, “In The Pines”, followed by a gentle rendering of the jarring Barrett Strong Motown classic, “Money”. Other tracks well outside the blues genre include a beautifully slow “Heartbreak Hotel” and a clever guitar interpretation of the Booker T classic, “Green Onions” There is also a variety of blues for the fan. John pays homage to the blues classics with John Lee Hooker’s “Boom Boom” and Willy Dixon’s “My Babe” and “ I Just Want To Make Love To You”. A couple of lesser known tunes in Mississippi John Hurt’s “Payday” Lil Son Jackson’s “West Dallas Blues“ add depth to the Blues range. On the last 3 tracks John switches to National Steel guitar to add a harder edge to his own tune, “Lil Hot Sauce”, a reprise of “In The Pines” and the classic encore, “Sweet Home Chicago”. On this album, the melodies are the heroes, not the artist. They are played beautifully and without the tricks or pyrotechnics often found on guitar albums. In this case, less is definitely more. John has delivered a thoughtful and well paced collection of great songs. A great complement to a morning coffee.