Blues ‘N’ Trouble
Try Anything Twice
BluesWax Rating: 8 out of 10
Raise Yer Kilts Fer Da Blues
There was a British Invasion in the 1960s that everyone knows about, but Blues ‘N’ Trouble just took their time to get started because they had to make it over from Scotland. So it took till the early 1980s for this group to get launched. Now after all these years and a Handy Award under their belt for the collaboration with Lazy Lester (Lazy Lester Rides Again, re-issued in 2011) they are back with another new release, Try Anything Twice.
This lineup is led by group founder and harp man Tim Elliot. He has the chops of the old masters such as Sonny Boy II and Harpo, but he uses his instrument sparingly on this album. Sandy Tweeddale seasons all six strings to make each song have a different flavor. And if all those strings aren’t enough, then you have Angus Rose’s mouthwatering organ and piano sounds to spice things up.
Try Anything Twice has nine originals and four cover tracks. The covers fit right into the mix with the rest of the songs. The gents cover Bo Diddley’s “Cadillac,” Slim Harpo’s “King Bee,” Sonny Boy Williamson’s “Bye Bye Bird,” and the Count Five’s “Psychotic Reaction.” All of these are treats on a desert platter. The title track could rival the Fabulous T-Birds in their late 1980’s sounds. It’s got some Texas toughness to it. “Down ‘n’ Dirty” gets psychedelic with some far-out organ taking this song into orbit. “Waiting” in the wrong hands could turn into a sad lost song, but in Blues ‘n’ Trouble’s hand this song is a strong plea about loneliness and longing that Michael Bolton wishes he could understand.
This group has gone through lineup changes through the past thirty years, but they still have the same mission as they did from the start: Play good blues. They use the influence of groups like the Rolling Stones, Them, Ry Cooder, The Sonics, and all of the cats that came before them. With all of these sonic booms on board Blues ‘n’ Trouble never misses the target.
What makes this album flow smooth is all of the different styles Blues ‘n’ Trouble run through. It’s like they put out a sampler of the music they can play. From Chicago blues, to psychedelic rock, to Texas shuffles, to Bo Diddley beats, to jump blues, there is something for everyone on this album. And if I’m wrong, then try it again, cause I’d try anything twice.
Kyle M. Palarino is a contributing editor at BluesWax.
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