Joe Edwards – Keep On Running

Album Review | Tiny Mountain Records | Review by Allan Wilkinson

It could be said of Keep on Running that it benefits enormously from the musical embellishments that appear throughout, not least the guitar, dobro and pedal steel courtesy of producer Steve Dawson, whose informed playing brings an extra sparkle to the eleven songs that make up this debut album. Hailing from the Wiltshire Delta of Devizes, Joe Edwards avoids the stereotypical version of British Blues by demonstrating restraint, with his cool J.J. Cale-styled growl underpinning each of the self-penned selections with rewarding results. There are tell-tale signs of his British roots, not least in his honest delivery, in the way he pronounces each syllable of ‘cap-it-tal’ in “Capital Blues” for instance.

There’s no shouting involved, rather a whisper, which helps Edwards convey his message more convincingly. On paper, the title of “Don’t Let the Bastards Get You Down” could almost prepare us for a Billy Bragg type tirade of anger, but instead the song is delivered as a tender ballad, having the same effect for the thinking listener. Edwards delivers each song in a similar manner, a little like Sean Taylor, never preachy, rarely in your face, seldom flag waving, but persuasive nonetheless. This is gentle blues for the most part, tender balladry for the rest and a good listen throughout.

Choice Track: Capital Blues (NSV 502)