Hat Fitz: Play Me Sumthin New

~ Monday, 27 July 2009
Oh yeah. This is good. I'm getting that in at the beginning for a very good reason. Bare with me on this one. This is an album of delta blues that Leadbelly would be proud of. Nothing strange in that, except that Hat Fitz is a big bearded Aussie who lives in a hut in the middle of the Australian outback. He looks like Ned Kelly, but plays guitar like Robert Johnson and sings like the devil owns his soul. This is blues in its most basic form, passionate and completely infectious.

With the break up of his relationship, missing his son and having to take a series of dead end jobs to pay the bills, Fitz has plenty of material for the 16 tracks on this album.

Opener and title track Play Me Sumthin New is a bitter sweet ballad about the break up of his relationship, the addition of some home recordings at the beginning and end adding to the overall effect. Ragged 'n' Dirty is a classic slice of delta pickin', as is Go With Her. Fitz excels at this stuff. His laid back style, rasping resonator guitar and husky vocals are able to transport you to the deep South or New Orleans. I swear you can close your eyes and believe you are sitting on the patio of
Pat O'Briens on Saint Peter Street sipping a chilled Hurricane.

The gospel tinged blues standard (Keep your Lamp) Trimmed 'n' Burnin stays faithful to
Blind Willie Johnson's version and sound like it was recorded round a campfire late at night. Amazing stuff.

The last third of the album is simply stunning. Brownzville, Gorgia Rag and Roosta Crows are a masterclass in slide blues. Seasick Steve aside, there are not many artists out there today that are capable of playing this style of music with the feeling that Hat Fitz puts into it.


[][][][][ (4.5/5)

Listen to Hat Fitz: Trimmed 'n' Burnin