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'Swamp Rock Country Blues'   

-  Label: 'Booze Records'
-  Genre: 'Blues' -  Release Date: '10th March 2017'

Our Rating:
Yes, this album does exactly what you'd expect it to do with a name like that and a cover featuring a saturated red image of head Swampbuster TG ,or Tim Gibbons if you prefer. It's also on the aptly-titled Booze Records, except of course this lot come from the deep southern Bayou and swamps of, erm, Hamilton, Ontario in southern Canada.

It opens with the down home blues of Honky Tonk Song; part lyrical advertorial to introduce you to the honky tonk blues being brought to you by your local guitar man, which is fine if you live near Hamilton Ontario but it's still cool if he's a faraway blues man too. It actually feels like something you'd hear from RL Burnside and friends.

Five Minutes Past Midnight is laid back and carefully picked blues about what happens after the midnight hour has past and what's happening in the juke joint where they're hanging out. The Hundred Proof Blues intro reminds me a bit of the Rolling Stones' You Start Me Up before the drinking blues song kicks in properly as they chug on that jug over a nice simple beat that allows the guitars to really flesh things out so they can get properly soused.

They come over all romantic and loving on She Always Ate Her Crackers In Bed. As far as I can make out it is about the sort of Crackers you can eat and not slang for a certain kind of White American who she might want to eat in other ways. It's also gently strummed with some very cool harp.

Pitching A Tent keeps the romantic theme going, only this time stepped up a notch as TG explains why he's pitching that tent and not going to the club his initials suggest. No this isn't the sort of sex that happens at Torture Garden although the standing on your head bit might qualify as this sounds like they want to be Albert King at his most down home and dirty.

Whiskey Woman is a good drunken blues for a woman who likes her Whiskey like she likes her men. No, that isn't on the rocks but with a good shuffle to him and some well-blown harp leading into the guitar licks that should get you dancing with that Whiskey woman as she drinks it down straight no chaser.

The Devil Gets His Due is some slow shuffling blues that reminds me a bit of Samuel L Jackson in Black Snake Moan as they sing about being at the crossroads and referencing Albert Kings Crosscut saw as they hope the Devil is gonna get his due tonight. Here's hoping it only takes a well-played slightly swampy blues tune to do the job.

Georgia Rollin' Stone sounds like they have nicked the tune off of fellow countrymen Corb Lund & The Hurtin' Albertans as TG sings about being accused of being like a Georgia Rollin' stone. It's cool and the sort of song I'm sure goes down well live.

Twist My Rubber Arm is a great song title and is as close to the whole Torture Garden scene the band's name might conjure up in some listeners' minds. What happens to the chap with the rubber arm is quite something even if musically it's a bit too JJ Cale polite for me. It needs to be grittier and dirtier sounding than it does.

Baby Sin is straight out of the Hamilton Swamps on the edge of the Ontario bayou blues. It's for a baby they want to sin with in so many ways. Cranberry Corners gets nice and gritty and cooks along at a good pace as the tale of the song unfolds with some really cool guitar and harp work, making this sound like the sort of tune you should be listening to while driving a truck down the freeway.

The album closes with She Gave Me The Blues. Well, of course she did what kind of blues man would you be if you lived happily ever after. No, she's abandoned him to a diet of drink and drugs as he tries to find his way out of these blues once more, I'm sure he'll find that road to redemption just as you should find a way to hear this rather cool swampy blues album.

Find out more at Swampbusters online
  author: simonovitch

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TG SWAMPBUSTER - Swamp Rock Country Blues