Ritchie Dave Porter - 'Rocking The Blues'

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Ritchie Dave Porter - 'Rocking The Blues'

On the strength of this record, he'd be worth seeing in live setting.

Although the title is 'Rockin' The Blues' and it does at times, there's a lot of acoustic Blues throughout this record. That's an observation, not a criticism. The acoustic setting often acts as the backbone to the songs but Richie David Porter adds some stinging electric guitar over the top. He's got a nice clean guitar sound and the contrast from acoustic to electric has the effect of amplifying the impact the electric solos have.

Porter is from Birmingham, not Alabama, but up the M40. Although an area renowned for its influence on Metal, apart from the heavier 'Into The Darkness', Porter eschews this sound and has a Blues style that dips into early 1970s, late 1960s electric Blues and earlier pre-1950s acoustic Blues.

Lyrically songs like 'Return To The Saddle' and 'I'm Back' appear to be the usual Blues cliché but if you're aware of Porter's back story (he's recently been fighting cancer) the lyrics take on a real poignancy. When he sings about the usual lucky charms of the Blues, such as his mojo and Johnny the Conqueror root, you sense he's really banking on their luck saving him. 'Morphine Blues' was written when he was high on the drug when having chemotherapy and has a woozy, Psychedelic power.

He balances the songs pretty well between the acoustic numbers and the Rockier tracks with a fair share of instrumentals sprinkled amongst the fourteen tracks. When he does Rock out as on 'I'm Back' and 'Rock Chick' there's a very strong Rolling Stones influence, from the Keith Richard's inspired groove to Porter's slightly Jagger-esque vocal delivery on these tracks.

Elsewhere, Porter has a decent, if unexceptional, Blues voice but he carries a maturity in his delivery that enhances the material. He's not a young firebrand guitarist now; instead he's the older time-worn man telling his hard luck tales of the life of a Bluesman. His playing is impressive, especially his acoustic picking on the likes of 'The Stygian Witch' and 'Spanish Rose', and on the strength of this record, he'd be worth seeing in live setting.

Duncan Jamieson

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