Monday, 19 December 2011

Hat Fitz and Cara Robinson - Beauty 'n the Beast

Nude Blues

Delta Blues in the nude. Well, that’s the cover’s innuendo, but in reality the relevance is that much is stripped back, basic foot-stomping blues, or Celtic folk, and fine for that. Opener Black Cat Bone sets one tone with slide guitar, simple drumming, and dual harmonising. Hat Fitz plays a mean, screaming harmonica and has the vocal of Seasick Steve about him, or vice versa – it’s a generic hard blues calling. The sweeter antidote to Fitz’s Aussie appropriation of dirtblues is heard in the pretty flute and Irish drumming of partner and wife Cara Robinson on instrumental Fitzmullolland. This more melodic alternative is also presented in fourth track Where It All Began where Cara sings prettily and is accompanied by fiddle. The album moves between these differences, but gets merged, for example, on sixth track Nobody’s Fault But Mine where Fitz plays a calm, seductive and electric blues slide and Cara sings in a pure and beautiful voice. Lay Me Down with acoustic slide and Cara's vocal is gorgeous. It’s a neat combination.

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