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The John O'Leary Band - Sins (Independent)
Reviewed by Ricardo, Nov 2005

Charlotte Wyatt

John O'Leary has fine voice, and is an accomplished harmonica player with an interesting tone and style. Backed here by a band that plays well together with a distinctive sound and tone of voice this CD is an ambitious and credible effort.

This is no bar-room boogie - the word 'Fusion' comes to mind - and throughout there is a musical sophistication almost verging on the Acid Jazz, especially apparent on the instrumentals 'And Everything...' (O'Leary-less) and the great 'Chiswick Roundabout' (O'Leary-full - and jolly good he sounds too).

The Chris Youlden 'I'm Tired', presumably a nod to John's days in Savoy Brown, is one of the standout tracks. There are a couple of attempts at a fuller, more soul vibe - 'Blue Water' & 'Save My Soul' - with impressive additional vocals by guest Rietta Austin, a 'Who's Been Talking' which owes a fair bit to the Cray/Salgado version, and Jr.Wells' 'Snatch it Back' which shows off John's fine harp style.

Overall it's as a small blues/jazz combo doing their own thing that they work best. More tight groovy numbers about Chiswick Roundabout and the like would make for a great follow up.

CD £10.00 + £2 P&P Available from www.johnolearyband.com