Wisbey's Texas Thunder - Bolt from the Blues
Reviewed by Ricardo, 20.06.05
gigging in and around London, this Hertfordshire based three piece
are stalwarts of the UK blues scene, playing in bars and clubs all
over the country. This is their second album.
No prizes for guessing Terry's key inspiration. If you call your
band 'Texas Thunder' and feature an SRV copy sunburst strat on the
cover of your CD then clearly you've got to expect people to assume
you're paying at least a little homage.
these subtle hints don't give it away, on this CD it's laid pretty
bare on the original, 'Soap Creek Shuffle' in which we're taken
'down in Austin Texas, a real swingin' town' where 'Stevie
Ray Vaughan is playing the Texas blues'.
There is plenty of Vaughan family style (Jimmie's in there too!)
tremolo guitar malarkey - and overall Terry pretty much manages
to pull it off - but to give the impression that this is just a
tribute effort would be unfair.
For all it's leading influence there is a respectable range of music
here and throughout it's clear that Terry is a decent guitarist.
His playing avoids cliche and manages to combine those all too rare
in guitar based blues qualities - taste and style.
Standout tracks include a nicely subtle, and soulful, cover of Freddie
Kings 'Love Her With a Feeling', the original 'Hey Now Woman' with
the most committed solo on the album, and the instrumental original
'BBK' with its laid back swing and hints of Robillard/Copeland.
The band is unobtrusive but solid, with some great piano work from
'Guest Keyboards' Jasper Scott on 'BBK'. We get an even mix of originals
and covers, a highlight of the latter, 'Killing Floor', managing
to do a credible job of reworking a well done tune.
The original songwriting could be a little more honest however.
I'm not convinced we're getting songs ripped from Terry's very soul
here, and this seems to apply equally to the vocals... Competent,
but a little measured, and I don't think we're hearing his true
Overall, this is a well produced and professional sounding album
from the genuine article - a capable blues artist who's out there
doing it, night after night, in a bar near you - the real deal,
in fact. Now let's have some songs about living in Hertfordshire
rather than Austin, and then we'll really be getting somewhere.
Available from Terry's website: www.brmusic.fsnet.co.uk