Holder, Mark "Porkchop" - Death And The Blues,
There is something about the blues, really good blues, that is stark and honest, vibrant and passionate like no other musical genre. When I was working on my book I took time out from listening to new music, and instead went deep into the blues, searching out lost gems by Lightnin’ Hopkins, T-Bone Walker and so many, many more. Some of the recordings, especially those from pre-war, were pretty ropey quality, but when it came to the power of the guitar and the songs there is nothing quite to match them. In Porkchop we have someone who is bringing together the likes of Lightnin’ Hopkins with Jeff Healey, Howlin’ Wolf and Billy Gibbons to create something that is down, dirty, sweaty, and so very, very powerful indeed.
I don’t think I’ve heard a guitar quite so high in the mix since I saw Gary Moore on his first blues tour, but his raucous full-throated vocals can take the competition, and somehow there is also room for him to add some blues harp when the time is right. Along with Travis Kilgore (bass) and Doug Bales (drums), Porkchop has created a power trio playing the blues in a way that evokes Cream and early ZZ Top, yet is also very true to the original source. Only three of the songs are covers, and I found myself wondering what he could so with some Willie Dixon, as I just know that would be something worth hearing.
This is stripped down, nothing fancy, honest to goodness blues from the heart powered by a band that haven’t time to be reflective but instead are going to drive through this, whether you like it or not. This is simply stunning.