Left Lane Cruiser: Dirty Spliff Blues

New hands on the wheel.

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After grinding out their scuzzy hillbilly blues as a duo for a decade, Left Lane Cruiser have succumbed to a bassist, albeit one who also plays slide guitar on his skateboard.

That’s not the only upheaval – original drummer Brenn Beck has also departed, leaving guitarist Freddy J as the only named driver.

They haven’t changed lanes though, as the sludgy pounding Elephant Stomp, Cutting Trees and All Damn Day attest. But the switch from a duo to a trio has left its mark on the sound, which is more organised, if no cleaner.

Freddy J also seems more focused. On Heavy Honey his raucous, soulful howl deliberately fits over his fuzzy guitars, leaving room for bursts of Joe Bent’s wild slide./o:p

Hugh Fielder

Hugh Fielder has been writing about music for 47 years. Actually 58 if you include the essay he wrote about the Rolling Stones in exchange for taking time off school to see them at the Ipswich Gaumont in 1964. He was news editor of Sounds magazine from 1975 to 1992 and editor of Tower Records Top magazine from 1992 to 2001. Since then he has been freelance. He has interviewed the great, the good and the not so good and written books about some of them. His favourite possession is a piece of columnar basalt he brought back from Iceland.