Album Review | Blonde on Blonde Direct | Review by Allan Wilkinson
By the time we reach track five “I Want the Blues”, there’s a strong sense that we’ve begun to accept that this new album by Dave Thomas is pretty much entrenched in the urban blues of Chicago, albeit from the docklands of Newport in South Wales. The soul-drenched opener “It’s My Own Fault”, complete with full brass section, tear-stained organ and Lucille-styled guitar runs, probably misleads us as to what to expect later in the album. Yes, those first five songs are as blues as you might wish to get, yet further listening invites a completely different stylistic approach in the acoustic “You Danced in My Kitchen”, as different as, let’s say, Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven” is to “All Your Love”, the iconic Otis Rush tune that opens that classic Bluesbreakers album circa ‘66. “There’s a Train” continues in the same vein, songs that showcase Dave’s sensitive side. Two thirds of the way in, it feels like we’ve discovered Dave Thomas’s true calling, that of a rock God, completing the album with three riff-laden rockers from an entirely different era, sounding for all intents and purposes like John Cale backed by Paul Kossoff and Duane Allman. Plenty for everyone then.