a guide to blues music and culture in London


Blues In London

The John O'Leary band - Sins

Reviewed by Ricardo Nov. 2005 

John O'Leary has a fine voice, and is an accomplished harmonica player with an interesting tone and style.  Backed here by a band that plays well together with a distinctive sound and tone of voice,  this CD is an ambitious and credible effort.

This is no bar-room boogie - the word "fusion" comes to mind - and throughout there is a musical sophistication almost verging on the Acid Jazz, especially apparent on the instrumentals "And Everything..." (O'Leary less) and the great " Chiswick Roundabout" (O'Leary-full - and jolly good he sounds too).

The Chris Youlden song "I'm Tired",  presumeably a nod to John's days in Savoy Brown, is one of the standout tracks.  There are a couple of attempts at a fuller, more soul vibe - "Blue Water" & "Save My Soul" - with impressive additional vocals from Rietta Austin, a "Who's Been Talking" which owes a fair bit to the Cray/Salgado version, and Jr. Wells "Snatch It Back " which shows off John's fine harp style.

Overall it's as a small blues/jazz combo doing their own thing that they work best.  More tight groovy numbers like "Chiswick Roundabout, and the like would make for a great follow up.

.....the new name for the john o'leary band