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Mick Kidd – Rehab & Camel

Self Release

12 tracks; 49.10 minutes

Mick Kidd hails from South Australia and has been playing a variety of guitar roles for more than twenty years. Included in his CV is the lead guitar role in a symphony orchestra interpretation of Pink Floyd and involvement in several Australian blues festivals. This is his second full length solo CD and Mick plays everything you hear (guitar, loops, stompboard, vocals) apart from harp which is played on four tracks by Tim Sheehan. Most of the material is studio-based but three tracks are live, including two of the three covers.

The covers are RJ’s “Crossroads” and John Brim’s “Ice Cream Man”. “Crossroads” starts with an instrumental section before the familiar riff and lyrics appear. Mick’s gruff voice works well on this song though the version here does not add anything particularly novel to the many versions we all know of this warhorse. “Ice Cream Man” is played on a resonator and the slide playing is fine though I did not like the vocal much. The third live cut finds Mick with harpist Tim playing an original composition “So Many Women”, a fast-paced number in which Mick bemoans the excessive number of women in his life, “but don’t tell my wife”! Tim’s harp keeps the momentum going well and I liked this one with its humorous take on relationships.

All the studio material is original and the results are somewhat mixed. Opener “Short Fuse Blues” is a slide-driven rocker but I never enjoy distorted vocals which are a feature of the track. “Cut You Loose” is a pleasant cut with Mick double-tracked on guitars and some quiet background harp by Tim. “Crash And Burn” rocks along nicely with a toe-tapping refrain, “Complete Unknown” has some nice slide work and harp and “State Of Mind” has a catchy riff on electric guitar which makes it perhaps the rockiest track on the album.

However, on several tracks I found Mick’s voice to be a little low in the mix, making it difficult at times to catch the words. Acoustic blues is not really my preferred area but I have to say that overall I did not find this effort sufficient to sustain my interest throughout this CD.

Reviewer John Mitchell is a blues enthusiast based in the UK. He also travels to the States most years to see live blues music.

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