Guest Review: Son of Dave, 'Shake a Bone'

What with the vigourous pressures of making good of one's art via musical artistes/singer-songwriters/solo artists, it's somewhat of a welcome return for Canada's Son Of Dave's third album outing with
Shake A Bone. Son of Dave is a one-man band starring Benjamin Darvill with many strings to his bow, quite literally. For prior to becoming the offspring of David, he was a former member of 90's folk group Crash Test Dummies playing guitar and mandolin. You may remember them from such seminal tracks as
Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm and er, that's..about it.

Produced by the indie holier-than-thou and Shellac member Steve Albini, SOD has deliberately gone for a raw, spit and sawdust aesthetic, as well as the obvious notion that recording at the Albini-owned Electrical Audio studios in Chicago would mean a certain-as-death recording in analogue mode.

For an apologetically lazy and inexcusable comparison and reference point, file under Seasick Steve and a pre-chain smoking and sober Tom Waits. All three acts share a back-to-basics, no-nonsense sensibility that's tried and tested and rarely fails to impress.That, as you might well ask, is an uncanny knack of multi-tasking between different instrumentation and making good of what they've got without a modicum of pretention to be found. Salt of the earth stuff. So long as there's a Radio 2 listenership and subscriptions of Mojo magazine still coming on strong, country and folk whether contemporary or relatively nostalgic won't be knocked off its perch for quite some time.

Onto the album, and 'Shake A Bone''s collective twelve tracks is a purveyor of some mighty-fine lo-fi country/folk replete with much foot-stomping, harmonica-strewn and beatboxing idiosyncracies all from a one man band. Highlights include the She Just Danced All Night, Revolution Town and Voodoo Doll.

With all that strong work ethic and genuine passion enthused on the record, we're left wanting more pleasantries by the end of it. A fourth record? These days most acts are unlikely to even make it to stage two of album output. But with Son Of Dave being the finished article? Not on your life.

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