I was lucky enough to catch these guys playing live here in London recently, and I thought they were the best British blues band I've seen in quite a few years.
The albums a bit of a corker too. There's not a duff track on it, but the two particular standouts for me were Greasy Pole Blues and Bed Bug Boogie. The first casts a skeptical eye on ruthless ambition, rounding out its tale with duelling solos from Eddie Kulak's honky tonk piano and Donnie Burke's barbed-wire banjo. The second's a flat-out rocker recalling the Doc's restless night in an expensive but, as it turns out, infested hotel.
We also get a glimpse into his day job as a university criminologist in Criminal Injustice, which manifests the album's dark wit in its condemnation of the private prison system. "Crime is my business," he growls. "There's one thing you should know - I've got a vested interest, in seeing crime rates grow!"
That's typical of the band's determination to write songs about their own concerns, rather than using the same old "booze-women-and-travel" cliches so many blues acts rely on. There's genuine anger in their treatment of subjects like the futility of the west's war on drugs, the suffering heaped on Haiti in its 2010 earthquake and the eviction of poor London tenants to make room for lucrative new developments. This adds great power to the band's music, which is played expertly throughout and delivered with great verve.
The nod to Robert Crumb' Masters of the Blues cards in the sleeve art is a nice touch too, and further evidence that these boys are well aware of the rich heritage they're working in. Kenny Burrell, Kokomo Arnold, Big Bill Broonzy, John Martyn , Jelly Roll Morton and Peter Green all rate a namecheck among their influences here, but the resulting CD is something all their own.
Review from M.Slade on amazon
Great first album from the Doc and his Professors. Got a chance to see them play live at The Islington in London supporting Rev Peyton. Great night all round.
Millbankboy on itunes
Wonderful music and lovely professors, interesting combination Doc Bowling and his blues professors offer brilliant must have and strongly recommended.
Lang on Amazon