More often than not, you’ll find that a lot of artists and bands alike like to take another artists song and perform/record their own rendition of it, be it in the studio or on a live stage and I admit that I can be a sucker for covers as I am usually intrigued to hear a different take on a song I’ve heard previously in its original form.
Some covers I’ve heard are actually better than the originals and when an artist releases a full album/EP of them, I go into them with an optimistic mind as I can often be surprised by how unique and good they are, such as is the case with today’s offering which is the latest album by Will “Harmonica” Wilde entitled ‘Bring It On Home’.
Kicking off this album is ‘Bad Penny’ (Rory Gallagher) which introduces newcomers like myself to Will’s music, as it gives a taste of not only what to expect from his harmonica playing, but also as an introduction to this album. The track kicks off with some fuzzy riffs before the drums kick in with a swaggering beat, and the distinctively clear vocals of Will fill the air. The way Will is able to play not only the harmonica but also sing with a soulful voice is certainly impressive and a feast for the ears.
Next up ‘Lazy’ (Deep Purple) a slow burner of a track that swaggers through the speakers with its delicious blues soul, the harmonica of Wilde being front and centre stage on this track. The beat is rapid and infectious, and it’s wonderful to hear the way Wilde is able to replicate Blackmore’s guitar parts on the harmonica; it’s nothing short of impressive. The drums are loud and proud and then the harmonica drops away and the crisp vocals of Wilde kick the track up a notch. I can’t help but sway in my chair while I sit typing this. I dare you to listen and not get caught up in the rhythm of the blues. Scorchingly good stuff.
The sounds of monkeys, crickets chirping and the jungle drum beat of ‘I’m Your Witchdoctor’ (John Mayall) is up next. The blues rhythm is heavy in this one, the bass thundering through the track. Vocally Wilde is soulful and enigmatic, the lyrics all about the life of the Witchdoctor and how he collects all his ingredients from the jungle around him, be careful though “I’ve got my eye on you....”, he proclaims. “Got my mean ol’ spell on you...”; Wilde’s rendition of this track is certainly going to weave it’s spell over you the more that you listen to it. A great blues rock cover.
‘Locomotive Breath’ (Jethro Tull), begins with jutting riffs and repetitious drums, evoking the sense of the Locomotive, the chugging bass and drums driving the song along the musical tracks that it lays down before you. Hard hitting and full of blues rock this track is going to become a firm favourite in both its unique take on a classic blues track and its harmonica playing that just soars above everything else. Wilde sure knows how to play that instrument. Excellent!
‘Love That Burns’ (Fleetwood Mac) is the next track and for this one, things get a little more mellow as the mood and tempo is slowed down. The old school blues feel and the beautiful soul is captured perfectly in this track, the sound of the harmonica and those vocals from Wilde are silky smooth and full of soul. A relaxing blues track that is perfect for slow dancing to.
‘Politician’ (Cream) begins with the sound of a woman protesting, then the spoken word of George W Bush “The United States has no right, no desire and no intention to impose our form of government on anyone else,” a fitting inclusion to a song where the lyrics are “I’m a Political man and I practice what I preach...” His style of harmonica infused rock blues is aggressive and scuzzy while the rhythm of the track is sludgy until Wilde kicks in with a frenzied harmonica riff that cuts through everything else on the track, the sound razor sharp and full of Wilde energy.
‘The Wizard’ (Black Sabbath) adds more depth and swagger to the album while ‘Yer Blues’ (The Beatles), combines a mixture of heavier bass rhythm and a somewhat moody tone with the fuzzy guitars that ooze of solid blues rock.
‘My Brother Jake’ (Free) lifts the mood by offering a lighter and more upbeat track, with its feel-good melodies that will make you smile. The light keys gives the track a light hearted feel and adds a nice change in the dynamic of the album. ‘Bring It On Home’ (Sonny Williamson/Led Zeppelin) starts off with a moody opening, the raspy hum of the harmonica filing up the airwaves. This full on blues rock extravaganza showcases everything that both Will and his band have to offer by giving us a powerful and passionate sound that has everything rolled into it. It’s a huge hitting heavy, bass booming, riff roaring blast of blues rock.
The final track ‘Parisienne Walkways’ (Gary Moore/Phil Lynott) is not only the albums’ bonus track but also the lead single as well. In its original form the track is beautiful, but Wilde’s vocal are exquisite on this track. The hold of the longest note on the harmonica truly defines just how immense Wilde’s talent is not only as a vocalist but as a musician too. Such an awesome track to complete the album with, such a beautiful finale to what has been an immensely enjoyable album.
After listening to this album a few times before writing this review, I can safely say that this is definitely a very enjoyable covers album which is perfect for anyone who likes blues rock. It’s also ideal for anyone who is either a fan of Will Wilde or for anyone who is looking to get into his music.
I definitely recommend getting this album when it drops on 9th March 2018.
Bad Penny (Rory Gallagher)
Lazy (Deep Purple)
I’m Your Witchdoctor (John Mayall)
Locomotive Breath (Jethro Tull)
Love That Burns (Fleetwood Mac)
The Wizard (Black Sabbath)
Yer Blues (The Beatles)
My Brother Jake (Free)
Bring It On Home (Sonny Williamson/Led Zeppelin)
Parisienne Walkways (Gary Moore/Phil Lynott)
Will Wilde - Harmonica / Vocals
Danny Giles - Guitar
Victoria Smith - Bass
Man Taylor - Drums
Greg Coulson - Keys
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/WillWildeBand/
Website - https://willharmonicawilde.com/
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Instagram - http://instagram.com/will.wilde
Will Wilde Webstore - https://willharmonicawilde.com/store