Duke Garwood: Heavy Love

Mark Lanegan helps London bluesman to finally arrive.

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Duke Garwood’s biography is the kind that beats a musician into shape, or kills him. From homelessness to tutelage by the Master Musicians Of Jajouka, he’s been around most blocks, picking up fans including Mark Lanegan, Seasick Steve, Josh T. Pearson and Savages on the way.

Tempered by experience, with Lanegan co-producing in Josh Homme’s LA studio, Garwood sounds like he’s found whatever he’s been blindly searching for.

His rich, intimate voice is set over slow, intricate webs of psychedelic guitar. Suppertime In Hell has flashes of Hendrix heaviness, but the weight here is subtle and cumulative, the studio charged with atmosphere. The jazzy build-ups to Jim Morrison’s explosions in The End come to mind.

It’s damn sexy too, not least when the tinnitus-afflicted Garwood requests some Honey In The Ear. Whatever voodoo he’s picked up on his travels, he casts a spell now./o:p

Nick Hasted

Nick Hasted writes about film, music, books and comics for Classic Rock, The Independent, Uncut, Jazzwise and The Arts Desk. He has published three books: The Dark Story of Eminem (2002), You Really Got Me: The Story of The Kinks (2011), and Jack White: How He Built An Empire From The Blues (2016).