Artist:  Lee Small
   Title: Jamaica Inn
   Label: Escape Music
 

There has been many tales of smugglers and pirates told through sea shanties, Folk music, even through Pirate Metal, but I don’t think there has been an entire album of blues dedicated to the accounts of sailors of by gone days, that is until now.

As Shy frontman Lee Small shows with his latest release ‘Jamaica Inn’, a real blues fill opus that gets underway with the title track ‘Jamaica Inn’, which sets the bar for the remainder of the album, as Small mixes blues with rock in a quick addictive mix with Small’s unmistakable vocals at the helm.

The album continues with ‘The Captains Quarters’, again rich bluesy guitars accompany the even richer vocals, before the Dick Turpin inspired ‘Black Bess’.  This time with a little more funk driving this one, although it still has that bluesy rock vibe running through it.  This song has a very 70's vibe about it.

Next it's time to really lay down the funky bluesy, with a touch of southern inspired boogie with the Zeppelinesque ‘Walk The Plank’, again with a rich 70’s rock feel to this one.  Then it straight up blues once more with the excellent ‘Shine A Light’, where Small shows what a great vocal talent he is.  If you're going to sing blues then you have to give it emotion and Small does this in spades. 

Things move a little more over to the melodic rock side with ‘Dead Man Walking’, before returning to the bluesy rock for the stunning ‘Voyager’ and the equally impressive almost folk rock tones of ‘I Am The Sea’, before one of my favourite tracks off the album ‘Smugglers Blues’.  A great slow burner that just builds and builds as all good blues rockers do.

Another favourite of mine has to be ‘Waiting For The Hangman’, with its up-tempo, funk filled bass lines, then it's time for the surprise package of the album as Small lays down a quite sublime version of the Boyz II Men hit ‘End Of The Road’, before the album is rounded off with the instrumental ‘The Renegade Accordion Player’, which wraps up a magical blues rock album that once again shows that Small is a man of varying vocal styles.  He can rock it up when needs be, but he can sure do the blues.  Definitely the surprise package of the year so far.

Tracklisting:

1. Jamaica Inn
2. The Captain's Quarters
3. Black Bess
4. Walk The Plank
5. Shine A Light
6. Dead Man Walking
7. Voyager
8. I Am The Sea
9. Smuggler's Blues
10. Waiting For The Hangman
11. End Of The Road
12. The Renegade Accordion Players

                  

 

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