Craig shaw & the excellos

The Excellos - Taking their name from the 50s American blues label started as an offshoot of Nashville’s Nashboro, The Excellos beautifully pay homage to that era while uncannily evoking the atmosphere of the early 60s British blues boom. That’s Slim Harpo with a moonshine-breathed John Lee Hooker on his trail, or Cyril Davies-era Blues Incorporated, rather than later Stones-derived mutations, ass the band works its hoodoo by deploying snaky guitars, featherlight drums, thudding double bass and Craig Shaw’s swirling harmonica, rather than lazy bludgeoning. The Excellos has always been Shaw’s baby, releasing a self-titled first album in 2009, then several 45s on Rollin’. Now with Germany’s Stag-O-Lee (who released the debut set on 10” in 2011), Shaw is joined by drummer Gary Tyrell Lynch and guitarist Jake Allen, who split double bass duties on a dozen dirty excursions into deepest R&B with its nerves exposed and veins pulsing. Apart from slithering through George Hamilton IV’s Everybody’s Body, two abrasive Willie Dixon covers (I Just Want To Make Love To You, Mellow Down Easy) and, weirdly but effectively, Adele’s Rumour Has It, Shaw wrote everything else, including the Chicago-style Angel Delight, slide-scathing Blood Red Rider and the shuffling Doing The Do. All authentic-sounding controlled dynamite, with that essential roll. Stag-O-Lee | STAGO 082 (CD) Reviewed by Kris Needs” - Kris Needs

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