Album Review | Self Release | Review by Allan Wilkinson
With a track list resembling a fast food chain menu, there’s lots of finger lickin’ delights included on this new album by the South London-based blues band. Jimmy Regal and the Royals wear their influences pretty much on their sleeves while paying homage to one or two blues giants, including Howlin’ Wolf with a blistering performance of “Commit a Crime”, Jerry Byrne’s exhausting “Lights Out”, written by Dr John and Seth David of course, as well as the surprise inclusion of Junior Kimbrough’s “All Night Long”, all of which sit nicely alongside the originals. Anyone fortunate enough to have been around to watch John Walters’ Blues Night back in the 1980s will no doubt recall Kimbrough’s “In the City” as the memorable play out tune at the end of an epic marathon night of blues music.
There’s no Jimmy Regal to speak of, but there is a Joff Watkins, who blows some convincing harp, who spars effortlessly with CJ Williams’ twang-laden guitar, the two evidently made for one another. Sammy Samuels is at the drums and percussion seat, with Alan Hughes also on percussion for one track only, “Can’t Cry No More”, which also features a nice touch courtesy of the Kora player Diabel Cissokho, who assists in a gentle collision of two disparate worlds. If the majority of this album is the sort of stuff that comes out at night to mix with the sweat and beer, the groove on “Going to the Fair” has JJ Cale written all over it, in both its feel and execution.