24 elokuuta 2012

Brittilehti Blues Mattersin arvio Slim Butler`s Inner Bluesista!

Slim Butler's Inner Blues
Slim Cuts

According to the sleeve notes, "Inner Blues" was recorded in 'the sunshine city of Rovaniemi', which in case you didn't know, is in the Arctic Circle within Finnish Lapland. Slim Butler is known to his friends as Jarmo Puhakka and the recording comprises mainly of local musicians. Yet much like was the case with Little G Weevil, several months ago, upon listening I was not able to deciper that the recording had not been made by Americans somewhere in the Deep South. This is
another great indication of the quality of blues acts emerging from continental Europe at the current time. 

This is Puhakka's debut release, and with the exception of the title track is fully self-penned. It has all the hallmarks of a classic blues record, from the strong and catchy songs which average around 4 minutes each, the refined musicianship its sound and feel recorded on old analogue recording equipment. There's also the touch of Otis Grand throughout the recording, who mixed and co-produced the album. 
'(Call Me) Mr Big Shot' opens to a trademark Albert Collins guitar lick which is repeated through the song, with guest vocalist Andrew Black providing A Stevie Ray Vaughan style vocal. Black alternates singing duties with Sugar Ray Norcia, best known from his recordings with Ronnie Earl. Norcia takes to the mic for 'What Have You Done' which is a blues ballad with a latter day Robert Cray vibe. 'A Heart of Ice' is embellished with some great lap steel playing from Raimo Hakala. 'Mexican Tears' may be the weakest track with its rather repetitive rhythm, yet 'Hey Bartender, Give Me Back My Fender' is as memorable as its title. It culminates with the melancholic 'I Can't Imagine Why' and an enjoyable take of Grand's 'Inner Blues' with simultaneous, contrasting acoustic and electric guitars. 
I can't say how often the sun does indeed shine in Rovaniemi, but Slim Butler certainly does!
Duncan Beattie

PS. Blues Matters(vol 68)-lehden ilmestymispäivä on 23.9.(www.bluesmatters.com)