Dave Arcari: Devil's Left Hand

~ Wednesday, 5 January 2011
It seems that Dave Arcari never stops. He seems to constantly be on tour so how he manages to fit in the time to record, never mind release an album, is one of life's little mysteries. Arcari is the perfect example of a self sufficient musician. He is proof that you don't need the big music wheels to be successful. He releases his albums on his own Buzz Records and runs the operation in a way that puts many larger indie labels to shame.

Musically Arcari is unique and could be seen as an acquired taste. It's blues at its heart but played with a punk sensibility. The vocals growls while his Scottish accent is distinctly audible. This is not mass appeal music but it is passionate, fun and hugely enjoyable. The Devil's Left Hand is the follow up to last years critically acclaimed Got Me Electric and does not deviate from Arcari's trademark National slide-driven alt blues. The album features original compositions alongside interpretations of song by Johnny Cash, Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters.

The album opener and title track
Devil's Left Hand sees us in familiar territory with suitably dark lyrics and staccato guitar before giving way to the wonderful cover of Muddy Water's Can't Be Satisfied which sound suitably raw and dirty. Another cover that shines is Johnny Cash's Blue Train which were sure Cash would approve of. Arcari lays his resonator down to strap on a telecaster for what is, in my opinion, the albums highlight, Trouble In Mind. This much recorded blues standard is masterfully executed in Acari's capable hands and really is something special. Fans of Arcari will not be disappointed with the fare on offer but I doubt this is the album that will get him the much deserved airplay to expose him to a wider audience. It is a great album, just not a commercial one. For those of us that hold artist like Dave Arcari dear, we will treasure each release but ultimately he seems destined to be our little secret. Shame.


[][][][] (4/5)