It’s back to Elmore James territory for a languid take on Bleeding Heart, with unhurried shimmering slide that’s very much in the less is more school of playing, something that’s also evident on the instrumental Many Sparrows. The chugging Trouble and Woe provides a suitable lead in to one of the album’s high points, Maria de Santiago, dedicated to Spencer’s patron saint and an antidote to the foregoing Trouble and Woe. Things drop back a notch for a cover of Slim Rhodes’ Take and Give before the album’s title track brings things to a close with fluid fingerpicked guitar lines. 

If you’re looking for a return to the stinging Elmore James schtick from forty-plus years back, this won’t be your cup of tea, but on the other hand if you’re after a relaxed take on the blues from a guy who’s managed to make it through the intervening period with his chops more or less intact, this might just be your cup of tea. 

Perhaps a tad too laid back, but there’s always a niche in these parts for well played late night blues, and this fits the bill for mine.

© Ian Hughes 2012