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Blue To Brown - 'Blue To Brown' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/4a/68/8d/Blue-to-Brown-Blue-To-Brown-64-1371256586.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     June 15, 2013    
 
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A case of “nice songs, shame about the singer”.

Blue To Brown are another of the many blues flavoured artists I’ve had to review lately, however these are different due to being a father/son duo. On guitar is Dom Brown, a very skilled player who has been handling guitar duties with Duran Duran since 2006. Indeed, his Duran Duran band mate John Taylor describes him as “a great British guitar player in the great British tradition of Clapton, Beck and Page.” High praise indeed!

The other side of the coin is his father Rob Brown, who handles the vocals for the record. The pair have put together this project to play electric blues with nods to various influences along the way. They start with the groovy, bass driven ‘Blue Boy’ which does indeed showcase Dom’s guitar skills. However, for my taste, it also showcases the vocal limitations of Rob. His gravely, almost spoken vocal does nothing for me and the backing singing from Anna Ross, who matches everything Rob is singing, only highlights the croaky approach of the lead voice.

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‘Going Down But Not Slow’ is better, with some excellent saxophone phrases and a better vocal from Rob. It’s still not exactly melodious, but resembles singing more than his first effort. ‘Bad Boy’ features some slide guitar from Dom and we’re back to the deep, vocal fry approach for the lead voice. The song is okay – it actually reminds me of the stuff Tom Jones has been doing on his great albums like ‘Spirit In The Room’ or ‘Praise And Blame’. Here though, all I can think is that Rob is no Tom Jones.

The vintage ZZ Top style of ‘I Get Loaded’ has a great thumping vibe but once more, I don’t much care for how Rob sounds. This is the story for the whole album – there wasn’t anything on the record that was a poor song, I simply found that the lead singer’s voice was incompatible to my tastes.

I can’t fault the blues playing, the song writing or the production, and there are some great contributions from the likes of Jethro Tull’s John Noyce and ex-Gary Moore drummer Darrin Mooney. I’d suggest trying before you buy – if you’re into bluesy rock, check out some samples of ‘Blues To Brown’. If you get on with Rob’s voice, you’ll find plenty to enjoy. For me though, I’m afraid it was a case of “nice songs, shame about the singer”.

James Gaden

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