Luke Winslow-King “I’m Glad Trouble Don’t Last Always” (Bloodshot, 2016)

luke-winslow-kingBlues and whiskey always get me in trouble with purists. I enjoy them both better when diluting them or mixing them with something else. Consequently, I can enjoy a L W-K record because he rarely sticks to one style and is apt to look outwards for inspiration. His version of the blues slots nicely into the Americana template – he offers excursions into the true heart of the blues (‘Esther Please’ or ‘Louisiana Blues’) but more often he’s exploring a tributary or softening the harsher edges, so a Blues lightweight like myself can drink them down.

‘No More Crying Today’ reminds me of Van Morrison – there’s a concentration on melody in the verses and choruses, leaving the blues licks for the instrumental breaks. ‘Change Your Mind’ is a stone cold Tom Petty song, sneakily melancholic, smuggling in a harmonica solo to keep things ‘real’. The skeletal slide guitar of ‘On My Way’ is the Blues calling my name, the song though completes its journey from the country to the bright lights of the big city R&B. ‘Heartsick Blues’ adds country into the mix with acoustic guitars and the fiddle providing the back porch accompaniment.

L W-K’s Blues are the kind of Blues that finds the fertile soil where you can plant anything and it flourishes. Half of this album will resonate with those with a Blues bent and the other half will please Americana fans.

Author: David Cowling

Punk rock, Go-Betweens, REM, Replacments, Husker Du, Minutemen, Will Oldham, Smog, Whiskeytown, Ass Ponys but probably most of all Howe Gelb, led me on this journey.

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