This is Canadian blues singer (he also contributes guitar and occasional harp) Big Dave McLean’s debut release on Black Hen. Produced by Steve Dawson, the album was recorded in Nashville with a local rhythm section of Gary Craig, Kevin McKendree and John Dymond, with guest appearances by Colin Linden and Colin James. The twelve tracks include a bunch of McLean originals, and covers of songs by Whittaker/Dorsey, Tom Waits, Skip James, and others (‘Tough Times’ is accorded a PD credit surprisingly).
Standouts are a superb ‘Dead Cat On The Line’ given a knock down, drag out hokum treatment, driven along by Colin James’ rippling mandolin playing. ‘Don’t Get Mad, Get Even’ (wise advice) featuring terrific piano from McKendree, ‘Mr Siegal’ is a typically witty Tom Waits number, and the set ends with a nice McLean vocal and guitar only take on Skip James’ ‘Devil Got My Woman’.
Fans of the Canadian blues scene should enjoy this one and it comes recommended by this reviewer.