Andres Roots: Roundabout

~ Friday, 11 February 2011
You wouldn't think of Estonia as a hot bed of blues music but you would be surprised. Andres Roots has been playing all across the globe with his slide driven outfit Bullfrog Brown and they have gained a deserved reputation for their live shows. With the band taking a sabbatical he has taken the time to release this mighty fine collection of rootsy folk blues tunes with a host of guest contributors to keep him company.

The quirky nature of this record is quickly established with the opening track, the instrumental
Duck Soup which uses the one stringed Diddley Bow to brilliant effect, sounding like a Japanese blues fusion. On Lemon Days vocal duties are taken on by Eric Gebhardt, his voice having an interesting twang similar to Brian Ferry, and some inspired harmonica playing courtesy of Jantso Jokelin for what is a classy slice of slide blues.

A man who is no stranger to us here at Music Critic HQ, Dave Arcari, pops up on a couple of tracks to lend his distinctive rasping drawl. His presence on
Southern Sky is a telling one as you can imagine The Rolling Stones would have sounded like this if John Martyn was their front man. On an album of many highlights it is difficult to pick a standout but if pushed it would have to be the foot stomping Brothers Grim with the best vocal performance on the album coming from Bottleneck John and Roots showing his guitar skills off in fine style. You won't be able to keep your feet still.

This is a hugely entertaining album that has far more appeal than its blues credentials would suggest. The playing by all parties involved is faultless and the songs have a timeless quality that means this is a record you will want to come back to again and again. roots