Album review: MARK ‘PORKCHOP’ HOLDER – Let It Slide

[Release date 10.02.17]

So, Eric Sardinas walks into a grubby, smoky, barrelhouse bar where the soles of your shoes stick to the carpet like glue, starts pounding shots of Mississippi moonshine with George Thorogood and talking about putting a band together – when the group walks on stage. After an hour of gritty, foot-stomping Porkchop blues, they realize “shit, it’s just been done….”

Mark Porkchop Holder may look like a jolly celebrity chef but his blues/rock is powerful, earthy and very honest. Having founded Tennessee’s Black Diamond Heavies and battled his share of demons, the Porkchop pours out his heart and soul on his debut solo offering, “Let It Slide”. The solidity and consistency of the album makes it difficult to pick a highlight – and I mean that in the nicest possible way.

Get your fuzz on with the catchy and whippy “My Black Name”, dobro and spittle-filled blues harp lament “Let It Slide Reprise – No Doctor” is the soundtrack to a Clarksdale street-corner still-life whilst “Disappearing” might have made it onto Exile on Main Street back in the day. “Stranger” evokes Johnny Cash-like punkabilly, testifying perhaps to Holder’s dependency issues (“I’ll give you my Daddy’s gold cufflinks, I’ll give you most anything if you’ll give me a drink”).

As Amazon would say, people who liked James Leg and King Mud (from the same original band) also liked The Porkshop. Cleaned up Bonamassa Blues, this unequivocally ain’t but it’s a darn good listen – all culminating in an energetic rip-through of the Big Joe Williams standard “Baby, Please Don’t Go” (immortalized by Van and Them in the 1960s).

Sweaty, slidey, beer-soaked blooze indeed. *** ½

Review by Mark “Mad Dog” Shaw

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