AL BLUESMAN PETERS & JOHN HODGSON The Chained Collective

Al Bluesman Peters and John Hodgson - The Chain Collective this is a cd cover image

Al Peters is a likeable character with a lot of personality.

On Last Train To Dingle Lane, he shouts to his fellow hobos telling them to get ready to jump aboard. The fuzzed up backing vocals sound great, however, the train noises which follow are not quite so well judged.

The album is full of moments like this, moments that don’t really fit. Things aren’t helped by the mix which is often disorientating and boisterous.

John Hodgson’s electric guitar on the more conventionally bluesy numbers such as I Need A Doctor by Phil Chittick who drums on the track, has an easy cool feel to it.

These simpler songs are most successful. The Devil Still Squeals has a Latin American feel to it with a catchy harmonised trumpet melody played by Peters himself.

The melodramatic lyrics are incongruously set against the pleasant exotic rhythm, which is a stylish touch.

On The Ballad Of Al & Janine, the influence of Bob Dylan’s late 1960s work is very apparent in the delivery and lyrical theme of protest, peace and love.

The Boho Café Blues (with the subtitle- Sweet Memories), travels further down memory lane and on the aforementioned I Need A Doctor, Peters and the band sound more like Dylan today with a similar afflicted bluesy croak but rather than merely imitating Dylan, Peters seems committed to the ideals expressed in his lyrics.

They’re consistent and heartfelt pleas for a more caring world.

Album review by Jack Goodall.

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