Album review: BAD WATER BLUES KINGS – Good Stuff

 

 

 

 

Tegancat Music  [Release date April 2014]

Bad Water Blues Kings have their hearts in the right place. They play smooth inoffensive blues, but don’t really have any outstanding material with which to make a splash.

Jim Stoeber’s semi whispered vocals on ‘Salt on the Sidewalk’ is pleasant enough but not essential. And that’s the problem with this Winnipeg based trio, who fleetingly suggest better things without catching fire. There’s simply not enough depth, passion or fire to make this EP stand out from a workaday pub band.

‘Good Stuff’ opens with the layered blues of ‘Feed My Kitty’, on a mid tempo blues just blues short of a groove, as Jim Stoeber alternates between sinewy guitar lines and gritty vocals. They nuance funk without really nailing things on the title track, which needs a bigger guitar sound and a crisper rhythm track.

They finish with ‘Which Guitar Blues’, another laid back piece that has a misleading uplifting end-piece that doesn’t actually go anywhere and leaves us with an engaging shopping list of guitars.

Given this is a 4 track CD/EP, presumably the idea is to get some interest and then branch out into full cd. As it is these tracks sound like works in progress rather than a definitive work. ***

Review by Pete Feenstra


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