Album review: GEOFF EVERETT BAND – Swamp Frog


Facebook [Release date 12.08.20]

It was only a matter of time before Kent’s-own blues aficionado, Geoff Everett, got deep and dirty in the Garden of England, disappeared into the swampland and emerged with a gunny sack full of lush slide-dripping tunes and interpretations. Armed with just a bottleneck and a lifetimes’ knowledge of open tunings, Geoff Everett is back with “Swamp Frog”, a worthy follow-up to 2018’s Night Patrol.

GRTR! has waxed lyrical for a good number of years now about this British blues treasure and Everett continues to amaze with his consistency of output and yet still surprise as he explores the many and varied facets of the blues in all their glory. This latest album is a mixture of originals plus Everett’s own interpretations of blues classics, something he does extremely well.

Whether the lovely lap-steel instrumental lament to lost loved ones (“Susan”) or the country-rockin’ jangle of “Rockin’ at Eric’s” about the landlord of the Priory Hotel in Dover, Everett demonstrates how to glide the slide to suit the mood.

There is something of a Sonny Landreth-meets-Chris Rea feeling to a couple of these songs (“Why Won’t You Love Me”, as an example) but there is so much more to admire. The album opener, a rousing rendition of Taj Mahal’s “Leavin’ Trunk”, almost has an AC/DC Heatseeker-feel to the way the riff, bass and drums kick-start the album.

“You Can’t Catch Me” offers up Everett’s moodier tempo and altogether dirtier take on the Chuck Berry cut whereas “Last Night (Backroom Jam)” is just that, conjuring up images of a smoky juke-joint and a sultry bluesman off in the corner taking a sweaty break to jam out his ode to long-lost love.

“Why Won’t You Love Me?” is another original where Everett lets rip with some great solo work built around a straightforward, chugging backbeat whilst title-track “Swamp Frog”, with its not-so-subtle double-entendre references, provides the Muddy Waters-inspired background canvas over which Everett can get into his groove.

“Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man” is a turbo-charged, in-yer-face version of the Richards/Jagger tune from the Stones’ Out Of Our Heads album – one of a few songs on the album where Everett blows harp through a home-made harmonica microphone, fashioned from an old metal mustard-tin-shaped valve previously used to control water flow in the attic boiler….that one never made it on to Blue Peter’s “One Thousand Things To Do With…..” list. This one fairly motors along and is one of two covers from the Stones back-catalogue – the other being one of my favourites in Mr. and Mrs. Womack’s “All Over Now”.

There is a blistering take on James “Beale Street” Clark’s “Look Over Yonders Wall”, first recorded in 1945, popularized by Elmore James and The Paul Butterfield Blues Band and now, of course, The Geoff Everett Band and what a romp this is – sounding for all the world like Rory Gallagher in his hey-day.

Its always such a pleasure and guaranteed-satisfaction to listen to Geoff Everett – a veritable disciple and trusted interpreter of classic blues moods. On Swamp Frog, he takes us on a celebration of electric slide and lap-steel guitar-playing, excelling on original tracks like “Can’t Go On Too Long” and “Rock Me”…..and respectfully breathing new life into well-worn blues standards of yore. ****

Review by Mark “Mad Dog” Shaw

The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk Sunday 21 February, 16:00 EST, 21:00 GMT

More about Josh:

David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 14 February 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at for that week.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 9 February 2021.

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