Clare Free is quietly making a rather large name for herself on the UK Blues circuit and in my opinion is one of the most exciting female blues players out there today. Whilst using traditional blues as her starting point Clare has pretty much turned the rest on its head and developed her own unique style and delivery encompassing a melting pot of blues, country and rock rhythms all tied together and inspired by Clare’s own personal experiences, people she meets and the world that we live in. This makes for an explosive combination which is clearly prevalent on her new CD ‘Dust and Bones’ and brings ‘Blues’ kicking and screaming to the present.
The title track ‘Dust and Bones’ is all about infidelity and tackles the subject matter with pure emotion and sensitivity. Its intense underlying bass line pulls you in right from the first note and Clare’s guitar work; like that on all of the tracks on the CD are simply a pure joy to listen to.
With ‘Scars’, Clare moves to the dark side with this solid blues backing rhythm mixed with a Skunk Anansie feel which simply blew me away on the first listen and continues to do so now. I can think of no other performer who could pen a song containing lyrics like ‘She’s the most beautiful girl in the world, but her face is covered in scars’ and come out the other end with a potential blues/rock classic. I love it!
It’s not all modern blues though. ‘Stronger Than You Think’ has that traditional blues feel. Everything is slowed down and every note is perfectly situated and never over stated. The only thing missing from this track is an intense extended guitar solo, which I am sure will find its way into the live version.
But it’s not all about Clare. Dave Evans’ intense bass playing underpins and drives each song along perfectly, supported by Pete Hedley on skins whilst Matt Allen adds that final magical touch on rhythm guitar.
In short, this really is a superb CD that showcases Clare’s mastery of the fretboard and lyrical talents perfectly. A definite must have CD.
9 out of 10
The official release date is 23rd March which will be held at The Limelight Theatre, Aylesbury. Further details can be found here.