In May 2018 Pete Feenstra chatted to Del Bromham for Get Ready to ROCK! Radio and played tracks from the new album ‘Blues Devils Live’
Self release [Release date 01.05.18]
Del Bromham Blues Devils Live’ does what it says on the tin. From the opening echo reverb and Robin Trower style guitar figure, we are dropped right into the middle of an evening of a hot sweaty club, caught up in the rapture of Bromham’s exuberance as he opens with Bobby Bland’s ‘This Time I’m Gone For Good’, and segues into ‘Fever’.
And just in case you were wondering this isn’t a Stray album in disguise, though it does have the same intensity and spirit that always marks that latter day power trio out as good value.
Rather this live set is great example of Del Bromham’s broad based musical palette, in this case routed in the blues but not constricted by it.
It’s also something of an interim release prior to his new self penned album which promises a broader musical remit. This live release is a well thought out bluesy set that mirrors much of Bromham’s solo work in the last few years. He’s still got a locker full of riffs, but he welcomes the opportunity to work up some grooves and step outside of his Stray persona for a while.
It’s a rough-round-the edges release as befits a live club date, with plenty of room for spontaneity and the kind of banter that makes a gig the essential bread and butter of the music scene.
Given the first solo on the album is the sweeping organ of Simon Rinaldo you know you’re in for a soulful set, before Del tightens the focus with his enveloping tone and a mellifluous set in which everything fits perfectly.
He’s in his element on the riff driven ‘House Of Love’ and the melodic ‘Slave’ – on which the band eventually stretch out into a skanking middle section – and the jaunty piano-led ‘Aint Love A Wonderful Thing’.
It might have escaped your notice that Del also won the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award in the same company as the late Andy Fraser and Tony T.S. McPhee, and here he relishes the chance to explore a broader musical environment.
He dips into his excellent ‘Nine Yards’ album for the riff driven ‘You Don’t Know How I Feel’, and the with the descriptive narrative of ‘Ballad of JD’, complete with a jangling guitar tone and significant Hammond sweep.
There’s also room for a ripping slide-led version of the old Stray song ‘Going Back To Georgia’, which whoops the crowd into a frenzy and a low-down funky Latino intro to the extended ‘After The Storm’, which lands us right back in Stray territory.
The disguised intro paves the way for the self explanatory ‘Canned Heat Boogie’ and the southern rock influenced ‘Everybody Sometimes Has To Sing The Blues’ complete with additional harp.
He finishes with an expansive version of Steve Winwood’s ‘Dear Mr. Fantasy’ full of the archetypal wah-wah and a huge rock crescendo that brings a big response from the crowd.
He finishes with ‘Words’, which is given a buzz tone arrangement with an early Walter Trout style wall of sound, a huge Hammond break from Rinaldo and a call and response section to send the crowd home happy.
‘Del Bromham Blues Devils Live’ is a rip-roaring blues party played with rock hard intensity and plenty of fun, in fact, all the ingredients that make for a great live album. ****
Review by Pete Feenstra
Pete Feenstra presents his Rock & Blues Show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Tuesday at 19:00 GMT, and “The Pete Feenstra Feature” on Sundays at 20:00
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Pete Feenstra celebrated his 300th show in October 2019. Pete heads up a five-hour blues rock marathon when “Tuesday is Bluesday” from 19:00 GMT. Listen out also for his interview-based Feature show on Sundays (20:00 GMT)
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