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Meat & Potatoes

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Album Review

Ian Siegal doesn't sound like the name of a blues singer; his name doesn't have the stereotypically bluesy ring of names like Memphis Slim, T-Bone Walker, Mississippi John Hurt, Lightnin' Hopkins, Big Maceo Merriweather or John Lee Hooker. Perhaps someone who is seeking to combine Celtic music and klezmer could be named Ian Siegal (Ian is a very Scottish name, Siegal very Jewish). But this Ian Siegal (who is from England) doesn't play either Celtic music or klezmer, and Meat & Potatoes is most definitely aimed at the blues market. On this 2005 recording, Siegal favors electric blues-rock with a strong Howlin' Wolf influence; his vocals owe a lot to Wolf's raspy vocal style. But Meat & Potatoes (which was recorded in Kent, England) is far from a carbon copy of the classic '50s and '60s recordings that the Wolf made in Chicago for Chess Records. Siegal has a different writing style, and as much as he obviously admires Wolf, he does things that Wolf didn't do. "Butter-Side Up," for example, is jazzy in a way that Wolf was not, and "Brandy Balloon" recalls the bluesier funk bands of the '70s (such as War and the Ohio Players). Without question, Siegal sounds like he has spent a lot of time listening to Howlin' Wolf, but he also sounds like he has spent a lot of time listening to the Doors, Muddy Waters, Eric Clapton, and Tower of Power. While Siegal is blues-oriented, he is far from a blues purist, and there is no overlooking the fact that rock, soul and funk have also affected his musical outlook. Siegal has his heroes and his idols, but he is his own person and paints an attractive picture of himself on this promising CD.

Customer Reviews

Get over it

John Mayall, Eric Clapton, Early Rolling Stones. The British embrace of the blues may have long ago pushed blues music back in front of mainstream audiences. To say we should be embarrassed is off base. We should be proud that this art form is now accepted everywhere. Ian Siegal has more hooks than a Japanese Trawler and I personally do not care where he is from. “Revelator” is a revelation and I have not been so move by a piece of music since John Lee Hooker’s “Boom Boom”

Revelator

A fantastic album. If nothing else, give the song Revelator a try: a bit of Muddy Waters, a bit of Tom Waits -- it will cut you like a knife.

Gritty

An earthy testament to the power of the blues. Gnarly vocals (think Omar and The Howlers) delivered with conviction. Stripped down sound, with muscular slide work. Download the whole set, or just "Revelator". It will replay in your head for days afterward.

Meat & Potatoes, Ian Siegal
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Customer Ratings

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