Thursday, 30 December 2010


Once there was Frank Marino (well, he still IS for that matter), but not that much has come out of Canada since when it comes to retro oriented, rough edged blues players. That is, until now. Vince Hawkins is a new name for me, but man, can this cat jam or what?! Ok, if you’re looking for slick, modern sounding stuff or toothless bar style blues, f’gged it! Vince Hawkins struts his stuff just like classic players like Frank Marino and Hendrix. He’s got that heavy, dirty, rough edge that I just love. Unpolished, raw and it has the perfect nerve to it. Just listen to a track like “Three Kings” and you’ll see exactly what I mean. In some tracks I could have sworn it was recorded live in the studio, but as Vince handles both guitar, bass and vocals it’s physically impossible. So, lots of kudos for making it sound so alive! He uses four drummers on the album, one better than the other and my favourite, a cut above the others, being the loose and lethal Josh Shaw. Not saying the others are nothing short of great, but Josh’s playing, especially in the breaks of opening rocker “The Gods Made Love” is just awesome and really lifts the song. Great song, too, by the way! The material on the album takes a lot of different turns, which is nice and refreshing. One example is the cool and smooth sounding “Peace On Earth”, while “Medusa’s Head” reminds me of a mix between 70s band Rockicks with a touch of Robin Trower. There is some traditional blues stuff in here as well, where “Cathouse” and “Ashes In My Whiskey” are traditional slow blues with a heavier chorus and “My Ship” also treads quite common blues steps. Good enough stuff, and Vince’s guitars shines brightly through it all. I must however admit, I do prefer songs like killer up-tempo back beat rocker “Big City Blues”. That’s the stuff that really gets my mojo going! And, there’s much more of that on this album! Great stuff!
Janne Stark
Label: Grooveyard Records (
Country: USA
Year: 2011

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