deep pockets.


That Canadian blues singer and harmonica player Big Dave McLean is a big name in his own country, is evident from the fact that he received the Order of Canada because of his merits for national culture. That producer, label owner and guitarist Steve Dawson took him under his wing in 2014 and that this is their third joint album, is perhaps even more convincing proof of his talent.

MacLean proves it abundantly on his seventh album. For him, that is groundbreaking, because he mainly recorded his own songs for the first time. He wrote nine out of twelve and also selected ‘Midnight Rider’ from the Allman Brothers, J.B. Lenoir’s ‘Voodoo Music’ and Muddy Waters ‘Just to be with you’, thus once again honoring his influences.

Yet this is not a traditional blues album, because behind McLean, Dawson and drummer Gary Craig, bass player Jerermy Holmes, keyboard player Chris Gestrin play blues just as enthusiastically as they play rhythm and blues, country or rock and roll.

They recorded the songs live in the studio together with baritone saxophonist Jerry Cook, tenor saxophonist Dominic Conway and trumpet player Malcolm Aiken. With their extra layer they add a lot of swing to the sound and they are therefore just as defining as Dawson’s always recognizable, lyrical solos and Gestrin’s whooping Hammond B-3.

McLean proves to be a somewhat unpolished blues shouter in the best tradition in this tightly playing ensemble. He sings his own songs and covers with just as much enthusiasm as he sings them with feeling and proves himself to be a convincing frontman.