Left For Dead - Dudley Taft Album Review

Dudley Taft - Photo: Kip Beelman
Dudley Taft
Photo: Kip Beelman

Album Review

Power Blues-Rock from Seattle. New Stevie Ray Vaughan?

Goatee-bearded Dudley Taft, 44, has learnt his trade with great observation and dedication during spells with Sweet Water and Second Coming, and its paid off handsomely.

Left For Dead is not only a showboating exercise it is jaw-droppingly awesome, particularly if like your licks with touch and finesse. In my opinion he has the touch of say Paul Kossoff / Jimmy Page and the blues sensibilities of Stevie Ray Vaughan, so that, by definition, places him in great company.

Technically, Taft is nigh on perfect. Stylistically he is mightily impressive. At no stage do get the feeling that his sojourns are gratuitous, because everything youd expect is in the right place, and time. Taft writes great originals such as thrusting opener Aint No Game which sets the tone perfectly. Skip one, and we get to Broken Down a thumping rocker with splashes of nifty brass dressing and a guitar solo thats on fire.

On long Way Down he opts for a more bluesy effect with sharp wiry licks, and should he choose a single to promote the album, then this is it. For Blue Lady, hes gone for a lazy template on this mid-paced ballad with very subtle solos a la Gary Moore.

In addition, he has masterfully chosen some excellent cover versions to add to his arsenal of tricks, particularly Charlie Pattons When Your Way Gets Dark, treating it with great sensitivity and respect, dropping in exquisite bottleneck and acoustic flourishes. Billy Miles Have You Ever Loved A Woman, (a slow ballad spanning over 7 minutes,) showcases his finely-honed skills, and when the laidback licks kick in, they are simply breathtaking, with his rustic voice only adding to the thrill of the listening experience.

Ex- Fleetwood Macs Peter Greens Drifting is truly dusted down and given a new lease of life, but once again, the originals sensibilities are kept intact with some dazzling solos, par excellence, with blues bassist Willie Dixons Seventh Son brought bang up-to-date (and virtually unrecognizable) in a rock format, minus the originals honky -tonk piano tinkling and rhythm and blues shuffle.

Again Dixons Back Door Man is more aggressive, but sadly missing the originals harmonica breaks, though it remains a blistering cover, nevertheless.

The verdict Stunning !

RADIO Hear Back Door Man on THE PLUG on Monday 4th October between 2-4PM (UK time) at www.calonfm.com

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