Formed during the global pandemic of 2020, Dust Radio are a rootsy, blues-driven duo composed of Paddy Wells on harmonica and Tom Jackson on Guitar, who form the songwriting partnership for this album. This band has already attracted the attention of the UK Blues scene. The blues masters of the past have had a significant influence on Dust Radio’s sound, which is a derivative of Southern blues with elements of Americana and modern rock ‘n’ roll.
Bassist Stu Baggaley and drummer Stevie Oakes are the additional musicians rounding out the sound across the album. Formed in 2020 across the Yorkshire/Lancashire divide, the band has been played widely on international radio and built a strong reputation on the live scene, gigging extensively and appearing at many of the UK’s leading blues festivals.
I had not heard their music before, but settled back with a cup of tea and some thunder rolling around outside to give it a listen.
“By Way of Fat Sam”: I have always been a sucker for really cool harmonica (happy memories of my dad playing it as a child), and this track brings out the harmonica in a cool and funky manner. It is a funky blues number with plenty of swagger and confidence to lead us into the album. It should attract the interest of blues radio stations.
“Problem and Remedy” has a stripped-down blues sound, very late-night New Orleans. I can imagine this one drifting musically through the night air from one of those old paddle steamer boats. The vocals are great, and the production is spot on for this one.
“South of Nowhere” I liked this one a lot, it has a really positive vibe musically, makes you want to get up out of the chair and have a boogie! The harmonica gives what I would call a chugging steam train vibe at midpoint, and the track, I am sure, would sound great live.
“The Canyon” has a light and breezy feel, providing a Summer sound for a warm southern evening. The guitar melodies lift up the listener and take you to a meadow with the clouds passing overhead. It is a short track, more of an interlude mid album.
“Face Don’t Fit” returns to a traditional blues sound, delivered in the deep south with one of those long roads that seemingly go on forever. It has a heavier beat and some down-and-dirty guitar.
“Gallows Pole” is an interesting title! It has more of a blues/rock vibe and a chorus that kicks. The thing that gives this duo something extra is the harmonica, and it provides that sweet taste here again.
“I Walk on Gilded Splinters” is next up and has a throbbing drum and bass sound with some hard-edged guitar work. It’s an interesting track, placed towards the end of the album
A soulful and lone blues harmonica is the lead on “No More Trouble.” The track is a very slow, traditional blues number. I am not a blues purist, but this is not a pure blues magazine, so it doesn’t matter! But if I were a blues purist, I would surely love this one. This is a slow southern style to close the album and take us back to that old Delta sound.
Standout tracks: “By Way of Fat Sam” and “South of Nowhere.”
The album is released independently.
As a brief overview of the album, it will certainly excite lovers of the blues; it has more than a nod towards that old Delta sound. The music connects on many levels, and the instrumentalization is an achievement, allowed to shine through some crisp production.
It was released on June 23 and is soon available for download on all the major stations.
A download link is here, and this link will be valid from July 14th onward.
By Stevie Ritson
We are very pleased you are here and hope you enjoyed the review. Stick around and check out what else we do, we have features, reviews, poetry and quizzes. Our magazine is free content and without annoying pop-ups as you read. Help us keep it that way, look at our Amazon shops, and the exclusive merchandise (all designs are ours) as it really helps us!