Saturday 28 February 2015

New Irish Music - David King, 'Ruirteach Blues'

Photo: Allyn O'Neill

Info: David King is a blues musician from Dublin whose debut solo album, Ruirteach Blues, (another name for the River Liffey, and in the context of this album, the Irish word 'raging') is launching on the 20th of March with a live show at The Grand Social, an appropriate location. The album opens with a modern blues twist in the form of 'Down In Flames' (above), a nice gritty honky-tonk style number that you'd almost expect to hear in a scene from Sons of Anarchy. As a major blues guitar fan I really enjoyed a lot of the tracks on Ruirteach Blues, and there were subtle nods to my idol Rory Gallagher ('House Devil Street Angel'), but strong nods to the great John Mayall, particularly on the latter tracks, the cool as a breeze 'Live In A Daydream' and the following track 'No Accolade', really brought up 1969's The Turning Point, harmonicas and vocals to the button. 

Songs like 'Out On The River' and the beautiful closing title track, 'Ruirteach Blues' add a bit of old English folk music to proceedings. Whilst I liked the more upbeat and contemporary blues tracks, I really thought King excelled with his more stripped down numbers, particularly in the latter half of the album, it seems to be where he's at his strongest and reflects his obvious gifts as a proper blues musician best. Perhaps, unsurprisingly, we're sorely lacking good blues artists in Ireland, historically we've had very few, but David King is a worthy man to be flying the flag and Ruirteach Blues is a must for Irish blues fans.

Other tracks I liked were 'Juke Joint', 'What Are You Waiting For?' & 'House Devil Street Angel' has some solid blues guitar riffs going on. 

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