Godfather of the Winnipeg, Manitoba, blues scene, Big Dave McLean, never really broke beyond Canada's borders. But this latest release should make U.S. blues fans sit up and take notice to his powerful voice, songwriting skills and prowess with a National steel guitar.
For this latest opus, Big Dave boogied way down south to The Henhouse studio in Nashville to record with producer Steve Dawson, a top Canadian guitar ace, in-demand session man and solo artist. To help McLean deliver his gutsy, no-frills blues, Dawson brought in a seasoned combo anchored by Delbert McClinton keyboardist Kevin McKendree along with guests The McCrary Sisters, Colin Linden and Colin James, who all help create an empathetic, twangy, rootsy backing.
Big Dave's gutsy, lusty baritone - reminiscent of the late Brit blues belter Long John Baldry - slithers and shimmies through set of rustic, country-styled blues. He enlivens five originals and makes covers by Skip James, Tom Waits, Tampa Red, The Wood Brothers and Ray LaMontagne his own.
With this new release, hopefully, Big Dave's big voice and passion will shine bright throughout the U.S. blues universe.