Stephen Dale Petit: The BBC Sessions

Cat in the hat drops in to visit Auntie Beeb.

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With slide guitar from Mick Taylor, sleeve shots by Pattie Boyd and hyperbole from Paul Jones and Bob Harris, there’s a sense that Stephen Dale Petit is now a honorary member of the British blues mafia.

For the most part, he earns the plaudits on this compilation of three BBC sessions, locking in brilliantly with Taylor for an aching Love In Vain, playing stingingly assured lead on his own Sacramento, tearing Jones a new arsehole with 7 Cent Cotton in 2007, and floating through the largely acoustic material of 2009’s session with Harris.

That said, this is still Radio 2, and at times The BBC Sessions drags its heels maddeningly, with each song bookended by sotto voce chat from the hosts that all feels a bit pipe-and-slippers. If you haven’t already got Petit’s excellent 2010 studio album, The Crave, this rag-bag collection isn’t your priority.

Über-fans will lap it up, though, and should particularly enjoy a closing 15-minute head-to-head interview with Bob Harris, in which Petit reveals his Anglophile tendencies, spins The Clash’s I Fought The Law next to Jeff Beck’s Definitely Maybe, and slags off Steve Vai.

It’s an enjoyable luxury.

Henry Yates

Henry Yates has been a freelance journalist since 2002 and written about music for titles including The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Classic Rock, Guitarist, Total Guitar and Metal Hammer. He is the author of Walter Trout's official biography, Rescued From Reality, a music pundit on Times Radio and BBC TV, and an interviewer who has spoken to Brian May, Jimmy Page, Ozzy Osbourne, Ronnie Wood, Dave Grohl, Marilyn Manson, Kiefer Sutherland and many more.