Album: Ian Siegal, Meat & Potatoes (Nugene)

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The Independent Culture

Ian Siegal's live shows confirm him as the leading bluesman in Britain. Their sweaty catharsis is hinted at here.

He makes no effort to anglicise the blues, and is generations away from Willie Nelson's minimalist ease. Instead, Siegal growls and barks, a young man trying to grapple the old blues' secrets to the ground. His take on "John the Revelator" relishes the genre's early Biblical language. There are nods to Sam Cooke and James Brown, enhanced by Jonny Henderson's Hammond, and hints he's heard rap, or maybe Dylan, on "Work". But the dissolution of "Brandy Balloon" isn't articulated in his own language yet.

The move from blues to soul, and vocal aggression to something slyer and more questing apparent in his shows, may make the difference. The next album should see him make his mark.

Pick of the album:"Revelator (John the Apostle)", "Butter-Side Up", "Work", "She Got the Devil In Her/ I Gotta Try You Baby"

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