Album: Little Axe, If You Want Loyalty Buy A Dog (On-U Sound)


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The Independent Culture

Marking 25 years of the musical partnership between guitarist Skip McDonald and producer Adrian Sherwood, If You Want Loyalty Buy A Dog is a textbook Little Axe album, stuffed with dub-blues grooves that manage to be simultaneously soothing yet unsettling.

The astringency of McDonald's National steel guitar tone is offset by the lightness of his touch, particularly on bottleneck slide; and once again, Sherwood and he unerringly locate the shared territory of blues and reggae, in grooves ranging from the chain-gang trudge of "Grace" to the Nyabinghi-beat percussion chant of "I Got Da Blues". Harmonica lines invade the slide-guitar dubs, and occasionally a chunky tack-piano riff brings pep to the languid pace; while throughout, sampled gospel and blues moans haunt the backing tracks, strained through decades of history, nowhere more effectively than on the opening "Song To Sing".

Download this: Song To Sing; Keep On Drinking; Come Here Dog And Get Your Bone