“Hell Bound Train” review in Blues Matters (UK)


Hell Bound Train
Red Parlor

Blues Matters
BM60 June-July 2011

This USA based band play the Blues with a rugged edge, which is just the way I like it, no polish, just good honest rocking bar room Blues, that at times is reminiscent of early ZZ Top. By no means a new band they have been around for nearly ten years, with this album being their sixth release, the band are now down to a four piece and are led by Tom Gray, who besides some tasty Lap Steel Guitar delivers ‘Whisky Stained’ vocals throughout, the band get by without any flashy guitar pyrotechnics but solid chugging dual guitar interplay, Mark Johnson adds some classic lead & Slide guitar. All bar one track has been written by Tom Gray, the exception being Fred McDowell’s ‘You got to move’, this track allows the band to take their foot off the accelerator and shows they can play traditional country Blues effortlessly. The song titles here may cover some well trodden Blues themes, the two “train” tracks for instance but the material is modern and fresh and it is no surprise to see that Tom Gray has won prestigious awards for his song writing. A fine Blues album that should do well now it is being released throughout Europe.

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