BLUES IN BRITAIN
These are mostly literal and most of them you can relate to, but its Marc’s guitar playing that takes the songs up a notch. He. is supported by Matt Timms on harp, who plays Chicago style with a really good tone in a sparing but exacting way. Pete Barlow has just the right voice for this style of predominately easy and laid back blues. The bass, which I think is an electric double and is played by Chris Bingham, adds just the right amount of support to make the songs complete.
The opener ‘Room With A View' is about travelling the world, but if your partner is not there to share it then it doesn't matter what the view is, it's an empty room. ‘Credit Card Blues' highlights their dangers. Matt's harmonica adds to the slide work. The harmonica comes to the forefront again on ‘She Moves'. 'When I Cry' has some very clean gospel style guitar, quite beautiful playing, 'Weep And Worry' brings something different, a bit up tempo and I could imagine an electric band covering this one. ‘Drink Away My Blues' is probably the song with the verse you
will be Singing the next day. ‘Play To Win' shows off Matt's assured, controlled yet powerful harmonica playing. The last track suggests a change of lifestyle is needed as the lyrics state “I need to find the fastest way to slow down".
In summary, 11 original songs from four musicians that are a cohesive unit, who have found their style and sound, and it works.
BLUES & RHYTHM
I am impressed with this CD as there is some fine musicianship that makes for pleasant listening. Singer Pete Barlow has an attractive, slightly rough voice that is just right for blues singing and Matt Timms is no slouch on the harmonica. It is refreshing to hear an album that does not have any covers and I reckon that the quartet have listened to and assimilated a lot of blues in their time. There are two songs with some memorable lyrics, ‘Credit Card Blues’, which I believe that many people could identify with and the ‘Never Been To Mississippi’, with its familiar name and place checking. I have been playing this album a lot and it is definitely one that deserves to be heard by as many U.K. blues enthusiasts as possible.
BLUES BLAST MAGAZINE
Barlow’s vocals carry some of the threat and rage of a Lee Brilleaux, which probably works better on the riff-based tracks such as “Weep And Worry”, the upbeat shuffle of “Drink Away My Blues” or the stomping “Never Been To Mississippi”. Although, having said that, the gospel-influenced slide-driven ballad “When I Cry”, is one of the highlights of the album.
Timms takes the majority of the solos as well as providing licks and fills throughout the verses. Ellison’s guitar is primarily used for rhythm but his slide playing in particular is highly enjoyable (especially on “Credit Card Blues”).
“Wish I Was Home” is a very impressive debut from Northbound. If you like a modern take on acoustic blues, “Wish I Was Home” is well worth investigating.
"The musicians proved to be perfectly in sync, with high notes from the harmonica expertly complementing frontman Pete Barlow's deep, gravelly vocals.”
"Northbound debut album is fun to listen too, enjoyable and as part of an acoustic collection would fit in snuggly"
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