A new album from Big Dave! Produced again by guitarist Steve Dawson, Pocket Full Of Nothin’ features more textures (like horns) and rhythms than any of his previous stuff, it’s his most ambitious and satisfying work to date.

“Music is just music and when it’s good, you forget about the genre or whatever label you want to put on it, and just appreciate the beauty of what you’re hearing” Big Dave says. Armed with three chords and the truth McLean touches on folk, rock, R&B and his beloved blues. His albums usually consist mainly of songs written by heroes like Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters and Elmore James. Pocket Full Of Nothin’ is different. “Steve asked if I had written anything. I sent him a bunch of songs and he really liked almost all of them, so we ended up with nine original tunes” he notes.

Covers include The Allman Brothers’ Midnight Rider  which suits Dave’s bellowing, impassioned prairie storm of a voice to a tee. “You just have to be open” Dave observes. “The blues is a feeling, and you should play it the way you feel it.” They enlisted the help of some Black Hen regulars and recorded Pocket mostly live off the floor in a few days. It has that immediacy that makes Pocket more than ‘just another record’.

I’ve been a Big Dave fan since I first heard his 2003 album Blues From The Middle and he just keeps getting better. Pocket full Of Nothing is quite something.