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Big Wolf Band: A Rebel’s Story (2017)

UK band BIG WOLF BAND is a fairly new player in the UK music scene. They started out back in 2014, and I understand that they have focused on being an active live band from the onset. “A Rebel’s Story” is their debut album, and was launched in the first half of 2017.

Big Wolf Band is another addition to the fine array of blues bands that have their home base in England, in this case with Birmingham as the center of operations. Although it might be said that when listening to this debut album, this might as well be a band based out of Birmingham, Alabama, as they have chosen to explore a subset of the blues that I rather guess is rather popular in those parts of the US.

The album name kind of indicates that this is a band with a strong southern feel. Perhaps a bit more Allman Brothers than Lynyrd Skynyrd, and there are a few nods here and there that fans of vintage era ZZ Top will find familiar too, but no matter what band associations one might get I rather suspect that the southern rock mood associations I get is one I’m not alone in hearing.

Slow, deliberate flowing and floating guitar soloing and what I’d describe as a relaxed but playful attitude in the guitar department is a constant throughout, as are a floating organ backdrop. Particular to this band is that a running piano motif is present in just about all the tunes as well, often with more of a subtle presence, and fairly often in a manner that gives me associations to honky tonk. Not being a blues expert my impression may be somewhat at fault here, but my impression is that the manner in which the piano is used does add a slight touch of what one might describe as Americana or country to the proceedings, cementing the impression of this blues rock band being of a southern rock orientation. A few touches of boogie is right at home in such landscapes, and on one occasion here I did note a song that for me came across as sounding pretty much like an AC/DC redux moment, exploring the bare bone foundations of the style this prominent hard rock band from down under often has as a core foundation when they amp up the blues into vibrant hard rock.

With dark and subtly gritty lead vocals that fits this type of music perfectly, the end result is a pleasantly intriguing production. Not quite at the level where I’m comfortable in tossing a vast array of superlatives their way, but most certainly a production that should be of interest to those with a passion for music of this specific nature. In other words: If you like blues rock, and have a tendency to enjoy bands being described as being of a southern rock orientation in that genre, chances are high that this is a band and an album you will enjoy.

My rating: 7/10

Track list:    
Heaven’s Got the Blues, Done Wrong by You, Hot Blooded Woman, Darkest of My Days, Long Time Mary, Rolling With Thunder, One More Time, A Rebel’s Story, Been Here Too Long, Love That Hurts, I Don’t Love You, Love Isn’t Free, If I Ever Loved Another Woman

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