John Alexander: Of These Lands
Independent – 19 May 2017
Having recently contributed guitar to the latest Doghouse Roses album, fellow Scot John Alexander now offers up his own release, the band repaying the favour with appearances by both Paul Tasker and Iona MacDonald. Musically they come from different corners, the husky voiced Alexander’s album very much rooted in dustbowl blues, drawing on such influences as Muddy Waters, Greg Brown and John Martyn, as evidenced from the off with Meet Me Where The River Flows while Martyn’s spirit clearly imbues A Little Daylight, one of three numbers on which MacDonald provides backups.
You’ll hear Dylan in there too, notably on the rambling folk blues of Used To Be A Friend of Mind while Hold On and the fingerpicked Seven Cold Curses hark more to the dusty country of van Zandt or Clarke. However, it’s the delta mud of yesteryear that provides the fertile ground on the stark Hallowed Ground with Tasker on slide while the Louisiana swamps water the likes of All My Angels Have Fallen and Take The Blame.
The album ends on the easy rolling laid back rhythms of This Side Or The Other, and from whichever one you approach it, these tales of weather-beaten lives make for engrossing listening.