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Terry Wisbey's Texas Thunder - Bolt from the Blues
Reviewed by Ricardo, 20.06.05


Regularly 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.

If 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 voice yet.

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.

CD £11.50
Available from Terry's website: www.brmusic.fsnet.co.uk