Bobtje Blues 

January 2007

John O'Leary band "Sins"  JOLCD001

John O’Leary is one of the ol’ guys responsible for the British Blues revival in the sixties, we should be grateful to them. John was the co-founder of The Savoy Brown Blues Band and played with other famous Blues people (i.e. Champion Jack Dupree, John Dummer). Now there is this, his second solo album ‘Sins’. However, he puts it in perspective: this is an album from The John O’Leary Band. And that band is world class. It is also an international band with (German) Joachim Greve (drums) and (Belgian) Dominique Vantomme on the keys.

Guitar player Jules Fothergill produced the CD in an excellent way (he also did the graphics of the CD cover but maybe he shouldn’t have done that too!). The John O’Leary Band applies many styles; most remarkable are the jazzy ones with a firm dose of rock (‘Blue Water’, ‘Waiting For You’). The music making is of a very is high level, especially Fothergill’s guitar (as usual) who plays the stars out of heaven here;  think about Robben Ford and Carlos Santana. There’s also some thrifty but splendid Hammond & piano playing by Vantomme and top quality versions of classics like ‘Black Cat Bone’ and Howlin’ Wolf’s ‘Who’s Been Talking’ with it’s delicate and to the point harmonica work in a minor key by O’Leary. Backing vocalists Rietta Austin and Lorna Reilly do a good job on ‘Blue Water’ and on the party gospel ‘Save My Soul’. There are also two instrumentals, the 70’s jazz-rock like ‘And Everything’, which reminds us of Focus, and the funky ‘Chiswick Roundabout’ where Fothergill goes all the way. ‘Sins’ is not a masterpiece, as some of the songs are too thin, but the abilities of the musicians are so high to such an extent that this album is a pleasure. Hats off to John O’Leary who gives considerable liberty to the respective musicians and for doing what he does best, playing the harmonica in the best possible way.  


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