The Blues Band: Few Short Lines

Brit warhorses continue to keep it real.

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Paul Jones’s 12-bar merchants, arguably the ultimate does-what-it-says-on-the-tin combo, have been making blues palatable for a mainstream audience for more than 30 years, but have lost little of the fire of their earliest outings.

One of their greatest strengths is their ability to fashion new self-penned material of such authenticity that you’d think the songs were born in Chicago back in the 1950s.

Tom McGuiness’s My Brother Was A Sailor follows the Little Walter playbook to the letter, Jones’s Suddenly I Like It is imbued with the sleazy grit of classic Muddy Waters, while bassist Gary Fletcher’s That’s My Way takes the soft-brush country-tinged route of Jimmy Reed.

They’re purists but never po-faced about it, unafraid to stick rigidly to a template if the vibe demands it; case in point is I Believe I’m In Love With You, which has no qualms about being a carbon copy of the Fabulous Thunderbirds’ original.

Terry Staunton was a senior editor at NME for ten years before joined the founding editorial team of Uncut. Now freelance, specialising in music, film and television, his work has appeared in Classic Rock, The Times, Vox, Jack, Record Collector, Creem, The Village Voice, Hot Press, Sour Mash, Get Rhythm, Uncut DVD, When Saturday Comes, DVD World, Radio Times and on the website Music365.