Behind stark images


John Murray on the impressive third album from Blueflint

With their third album ready for release and a UK tour all booked in it was time to examine Blueflint.

The stark images of the Banana Flats in Leith along the desolate Kirkgate Centre betrays the delightful music within held together by the harmonies of Claire and Deborah who formed the band and released Stories From Home (Jorock) this week. Patches Of Green has a sense of kitchen sink about it though and could be from any decade yet Seasons Are Changing exudes optimism and is a delight to hear.

Deborah ensures her tasty banjo gets in everywhere and this forms the base for the songs followed by acoustic guitar, mandolin, fiddle and drums.

They share writing and vocals and therein lies the success and recognised too by Creative Scotland who support Blueflint.

Unfazed by supporting The Proclaimers in large venues in 2012 they are now out headlining themselves.

They play Crail Folk Club on April 9, Kirkcaldy Acoustic Music Club on May 21.

Another twosome Dennis Greaves and Mark Feltham from the band Nine Below Zero are releasing an album in tribute to Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, Leadbelly and other blues icons.

With a basic line up of guitar and harmonica they remain authentic while still absolutely filing the sound.

I Love You Baby and Walk On share a timeless tradition of 12 bar good time stompin’ blues.

Obvious at one with their roots and a love of covering the standards like My Buckets Got A Hole In It we still get unusual diversions like their own Ballad Of Dombovar, a Soviet influenced almost military instrumental completely unexpected. Modern standards like (Randy Newman’s) Sail Away and (Warren Zevon’s) Carmelita might have benefitted from a full band arrangement but vocally sounding their own with the lone harmonica adding the only embellishment.

Their take on Stone Fox Chase takes you back to the long lost rock days of Old Grey Whistle Test.