For many Americans, myself included, Australia is a tantalizing and mystical place; friendly confident people with a disarming “Hey mate” greeting, the siren call of the didgeridoo, kangaroos on the move, and the enormity of the desert Outback with scattered small pockets of proud indigenous people that hail back to the very beginning of the human experience can fire the imagination. AND it is also home to some world class roadhouse blues! I have been a fan of Paul Buchanan, particularly his songwriting, for a number of years. Some artists write great lyrics. Truly great artists tell vivid and vibrant stories in song. Paul is one of them.
The new Paul Buchanan’s Voodoo Preachers album Down Selling Lane contains a dozen songs; ten originals and two interesting covers of Fats Domino’s Hello Josephine and Hop Wilson’s Black Cat Bone. The album starts out in true roadhouse blues fashion with Paul’s growling vocals on Bad Luck & Trouble. The tone on Marc Leyshan’s guitar is menacing and matched by the fuzzed out insistence of John Werner’s bass on the tune. The second song, Blues Man’s Shoes, is reminiscent of Creedence Clearwater Revival and features a really cool howl by Paul that bears comparison with Howlin’ Wolf in his prime. The third tune, Blues Harp & a Bloody Mary, introduces the harmonica mastery of Phil Coyne and the breezy Spanish guitar of Ning Hopkins on another of Paul’s delightful story songs. I also really enjoyed drummer Stuart Anderson’s tight pocket and the guitar solo on Gotta Stop Thinkin’…mhmm…good stuff! The last song, Oh Mercy, is a clarion call to understand and help those that “are drinking from a different cup”. As he writes in the song “some people see everything just in black and white…there are colors everywhere…they need to see the light”. And Paul is voodoo preachin’ to a roadhouse blues beat that will have you movin’ your hips and wantin’ to hit a dance floor!!
The highlight of the album is the tune Roadhouse. I have to admit I have a bias towards this song; Paul mentions me in the lyrics!!! Paul has been a regular listener of my roadhouse blues shows on BluesMusic Fan Radio and my 24 hour personal music stream . About a year ago, he sent me a text stating that listening had fired him up and he was gonna write a song about a roadhouse. I laughed and said COOL!! About six months later, I got another text asking me if it was okay to use my name in the roadhouse song. My reply was HELL YEAH! Then I didn’t hear anything for a number of months. I assumed, as often happens in songwriting, that he just couldn’t get it to work the way he wanted. Then lo and behold, I get another text several weeks ago asking me if I had gotten the album yet? I checked the BluesMusicFan Radio directory where DJs can see the new albums sent to the station and there it was…..track #7….Roadhouse. It is a fantastic catchy tune, a story song, and Paul Buchanan’s Voodoo Preachers at their best. Give it a listen and decide for yourself. As I stated I am a bit prejudiced but I think you will agree that it is a badass tune!!
Overall, Down Selling Lane, is contemporary blues and blues rock at its very best; distinctive vocals, fabulous harmonica playing with stellar guitars and driving bass riffs and drums. And most of all memorable lyrics that reinforce the magic and mystery of the land down under….and the talent of Paul Buchanan.
#blues #bluesrock #bluesmusic #bluesnews #benveeroadhouseblues
Ben Vee started out spinning songs on terrestrial radio and at nightclubs back in the 1970’s in his home state of Louisiana. After a career in the construction business, he returned to DJing in 2011. He now hosts two shows each week on http://www.bluesmusicfan.com and writes about the blues at http://www.benveeblues.com from his home in Connecticut. He also has a personal 24 hour stream devoted to the Roadhouse Blues.