Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

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The Andy Drudy Disorder:The Blues Civilisation (Splash Point Records)

Andy Drudy CD Cover



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UK release date 02.07.2012

Professional session musicians must get pretty frustrated. Turning up day in, day out and playing someone else’s music with little creative input - the main objectives being; get in, get out, try not to bump into the mike stands but mainly to get paid.

So now and again, those guys end up having to do their own thing, or their dangly bits just might fall off. Top end guitarist Andy Drudy is no exception.

The Brit’ session man has worked on major projects worldwide over the years, and with some of the biggest names in the business, inc Macca. No desire to be a solo artist, until recently when the muse showed up and whispered in his ear; to stop just thinking about it and go do it. So off he went, and came back with this debut EP of five of his own compositions - written over a three year period.

Very good tiz too. He has a strong, easy on the ear voice. One of those you think you have heard before, and on the tip of your tongue who he sounds like. A bit James Blunt. A bit David Gray. A bit Knopfler, and a bit Rea perhaps. I could go further back and mention obscure names like Elmer Gantry and even my mate in Nashville, Danny Flowers. A gruff, raspy soulful timbre.

Thinking about it, his voice and his sound is very much JJ Cale territory, which is absolutely fine by me. Andy has a voice I would be very happy listening to on a full album or a live concert, for sure.

But his guitar playing is sublime. One album of that could never be enough. Very versatile (has to be in his job), bluesy, jazzy, funky. Lovely tone. Not too busy. Less is more is perhaps his mission statement it seems. The songs all quite interesting. Pretty simple and clean arrangements, which is a positive not a negative. The most commercial of which is track three: “Just Gimme A Slow Blues.” I really like that one and for me, it has Radio 2 playlist all over it. Lovely groove.

He has deliberately not delivered a collection of lengthy guitar solos, even though he is clearly quite capable of doing so. It is measured, seemingly more about the songs and not just him as a guitar player. But when he does play, it is lovely stuff. In fact, I think he is a bit of a tease is our Andrew…………..

The closing track, “Scallywag,” channels Jerry Reed and of course, Chet. That’s Atkins not Baker! On a cheeky little number that gives us a repetitive and infectious riff in a jazz meets country vibe. It’s superb. His fretwork magnificent, but not up his own rear end with it, as a virtuoso can sometimes veer toward. That track and the entire EP, is very entertaining and worth seeking out.

It is a fine showcase for a “new” UK talent, as a singer, a songwriter and one of the best guitarists you’ll hear in this country today. It is a mixed bag of styles and has no particular direction. The nearest we get to blues as we know it, is the track that has it in its title. So there’s no definite sound or one style here, it is more a sampler of free-thinking musical talent.

A cracking guitar player, a solid writer and a fine vocalist letting off steam outside his day job. Perhaps a correlation of the right collection of material for a full album, could turn this triple threat into a credible artist with his own sound.

The guys he surrounds himself with here do him and the songs proud: Bassists Chris Hill and Paul Francis. Drummers Alex Reeves and Adam Bushell. The CD was produced by Andy, who knows his way around a studio, both sides of the desk it turns out. A very nice job indeed. Bring on the album chaps.

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

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