It’s been the kind of week when things kept popping up from the past. With that trend being set, it was little surprise to find that Rick Shaffer had a past as the guitarist with The Reds dating all the way back to the eighties. Further research also indicated that this is, in fact, his second solo album.
What therefore of the music? It’s a curious thing and that’s the truth. Not that it is oddball or just plain difficult, more that it seems like Mr. Shaffer has decided to take the one man band approach for, while there are additional musicians credited, he clearly prefers to be the ringmaster in his own circus. Though the sonic appeal of this approach does wane over the course of the album, it is nonetheless also true that his post punk American style songs seem suited to this direct, slap you in the face approach with “Nobody Home,” and “Crime Of Love” for that matter, getting near to the howling intensity of a real bluesman while “Crime Of Love” snarls up a refreshing amount of anger management issues.
It is refreshing to hear an album that hasn’t been polished to mediocrity like so many these days and, with that in mind, I am now overcome with the urge to draw a musical parallel and say that Rick Shaffer sounds like Seasick Steve would sound if he had been imprisoned in a big city basement with only a guitar and a case of Jack Daniels for company. Rough and ready – that’s the way to go!
Bluesbunny • Independent music reviews from Glasgow, UK