The best Texas boogie this side of ….Sussex, but way more besides
“Spark” is the second EP from The Andy Drudy Disorder. The first was good enough to get critical acclaim and have the likes of Carl Verheyen from Supertramp sing its praises.
All fine and dandy, but here’s the thing, the second has Pat Travers on it, which basically means that whatever MV writes about it now, The Disorder have already won.
So we might as well start with that one. Travers – who is cited by Drudy as an influence – plays some mean slide guitar on the title track. “Spark” is a mighty fun little boogie too, sounding like Southside Johnny at his most bar room, it is a song that subscribes to the view that every Bruce Springsteen tune does. Namely that the car is metaphor for everything and the open road is out before us. The mention of the two New Jersey legends is apt too, given that in addition to Travers and bass god Stu Hamm, there’s a glorious horn section too.
You might think that with such an opener, the rest wouldn’t match up. To be fair, you’d be wrong, because the next two are quite superb. Totally different, but brilliant nonetheless. Just Drudy and a drum machine, the pair bookend each other superbly. “Jefferson County Blues” is laid back swampy blues done right, and “2-8-2 Out Of Missoula” wouldn’t be out of place were it on the “La Futura” album that ZZ Top stuck out a few years back.
A seven track EP shouldn’t pack this much in. But then, it perhaps should if you are brimming with this many ideas. “The Voyager” has echoes of The Shadows as it winds its instrumental way, “Don’t Let Me See your Face Again” is a glorious ballad sung by Jessica Greenfield, and is another left turn on a record of them.
“Spark’s” longest song is also arguably its most ambitious and certainly its most epic. ”The Tempest Blues” has everything, from a prog like piano led intro which gives way to some superbly emotional guitar playing, more than matched by its lyrics.
The last song doesn’t have any lyrics at all, just some magnificent guitar playing, akin to Mark Knopfler at his most mournful, it is a tremendous and evocative way to end a fabulous and diverse EP.
With each passing week it seem, we are presented with another blues artist that is excelling – and stretching – themselves. Here’s another. “Spark” deserves to really catch fire.