It is no secret that rock music owes its existence to the blues. Charlie Sayles is a mean blues harpist who proves he is the real deal from the first few notes he blows into his harmonic. Its dirty dive bar blues, the likes of which that inspired Tom Waits' booze splattered odes. The album is raw and authentic. Production wise it very well be a mic on stage. the funk to "Green Peace" gives it the gumption to look at the bigger picture than just lamenting at a bar. The guitar is a little low in the mix with the drums carrying the groove. He gets into more of a road house blues shuffle on "These Chains" which also has slight gospel undertones, as the song reflects on the pit falls of addiction. His harmonica solo sit where guitar solos typically would in this kind of music and are a welcome diversion, after all how many times can you take some one wanting to be Stevie Ray Vaughn.
Though "Laughin and Grinnin" is more what you would it expect it, still carries more swing than stereotypical blues and really gives Sayles the space to cut loose . They break out some classic twelve bar blues walk downs on "Arella". The vocals go down into a steamy whisper. This album continues to take you on a tour of the varied moods of blues taking on a more easy going lounge feel on " I Don't Want to Die" which finds the harmonica trading off with the guitar. The song "A New Day Coming" reminds me of a more breezy and easy going take on something Hendrix might have done in one of his less drugged funk moments. There is more of a Texas blue phrasing to the soulful ballad "Vietnam". Sayles doesn't just blow into his Harmonica with a rhythmic intensity and hope for the best like many do, he has a very lyrical quality to his playing that can caress a melody.
The album closes with " Those Things of Old". The song's honky honk twang still holds a groove to it is not unlike those used by Howling Wolf or Albert King that would later be bastardized by Led Zeppelin. However many bands from the British Invasion pulled liberally from this period of blues. Its evident that Sayles is plugged in directly to the roots of the music. If you are hungry for some real blues and want it light on the guitar solos , but heavy on having it's roots firmly planted in the real shit then this album will not do your wrong. It's being released on Fetal Records, check out a taste below.