They say good things come to those that wait, and it has been a long wait between albums from one of this country's premier blues men, Darren Watson.
There has been more than half a decade between the release of Watson's previous album 'South Pacific Soul' and his latest 'Saint Hilda's Faithless Boy'.
To label Watson as purely a blues man is perhaps doing him a disservice.
He is as surely rooted in the blues as bad whiskey and evil women, but he is also much more than that.
Not only does Watson have perhaps the finest blues band in the country at present, I'm sure that if he had the inclination and set his mind to it he would have the best soul band, the best R 'n' B band and probably the best pop band in the country too.
In fact, if he wasn't such an excellent blues player and worked more in those other genres he'd probably be more famous.
With a thoroughly excellent band behind him (outstanding drummer Richard Te One; totally in the pocket bassist Elliotte Fuimaono; and keyboard player extraordinaire Alan Norman) Watson rides the groove throughout with exemplary vocal and guitar tone that effortlessly blends the soulful, swamp rock, hard biting blues of tunes such as Love Is An Ocean, Got It All and A Desperate Man with the haunting acoustic slide of My Love Will Never Die.
If you’re looking for a blues record full of blistering, meaningless, endless guitar solos than this record isn’t for you.
If you’re looking for something a bit more grown-up and heartfelt... then you’ve found it.
We can only hope that that the wait between 'Saint Hilda's Faithless Boy' and Watson's next release won't be so long.
But, if that wait produces such results as this latest one, then it will be surely worth it.
Darren Watson is an international award winning New Zealand blues musician and songwriter. The former Chicago Smoke Shop frontman is widely acknowledged as one of the country's best live performers.
He recently released his fourth LP Saint Hilda's Faithless Boy to universal acclaim. The Dominion Post raved “This is world class. We are lucky to have him. More people should know that”, while respected US blues music critic Bill Mitchell said “Saint Hilda's Faithless Boy gets better each time I listen to it.”
Saint Hilda's Faithless Boy was some time in the making and follows on from Darren’s critically acclaimed 2005 LP South Pacific Soul, which features the track All Going Wrong. The tune won the 2008 Blues Award at The International Songwriting Competition in Memphis. Judges included Tom Waits & legendary English bluesman John Mayall.