Hello and welcome to the first in a series of blogs aimed at getting to know some of the bands in your local music scene and listening to their new releases.
Starting us off we have ‘3 Times 7’ whose Facebook page runs with the tag:
Jenny Lawrence and David Holdstock play the blues. Bringing you everything with one voice and one guitar
I was keen to find out a bit more about Jenny and David so I asked them a few music and not so music related questions
Describe your band in 3 words?
Acoustic blues folk
Favourite local band?
Favourite local venue?
Analogue or digital?
Your take on the live music scene in this country?
Booming, never before has there been so much new music and so many musicians playing. It’s almost unavoidable on a night out, you will always find a band
Cameron or Corbyn?
Your 3 biggest influences and why?
Bb king, Eric Clapton, Bessie Smith Heartfelt, soulful and inspirational musicians
Sell your music to us?
Our music is a mix of upbeat blues, soulful tunes, with a splash of jazz and folk. Dressed up in a fancy dress and a sharp suit.
So I put the album on and had a listen. The first thing that hit me was the musicianship. You never know what you’re going to get when you press play and in these blogs I will be honest as that’s the whole point of a review in my opinion so I was happy to find I wasn’t going to have to constructively criticise anyones playing on this album. From song to song the guitar playing in particular is superb. With the exception of ‘Baby don’t taste the same’, which features a really nice delayed electric guitar, the album is all driven by Davids acoustic guitar. It’s clear that he knows what he’s doing and he plays the blues as it should be played, with passion. I find a lot of blues playing a little contrived particularly in the UK and lacking of that connection to the original genre but its obvious this is what he’s into and he’s going to do it justice. From really nice chord progressions to lovely little lead runs Davids guitar is the heart and soul of each of the tracks particularly so on ‘Better than you’ where there’s a really nice chord structure going on.
Of course all this nice intricate guitar playing would be nothing without someone telling the story and this is where Jenny comes in. Its a brave vocalist indeed to take on the blues and make it sound authentic so how does Jenny fair?
Firstly its a great vocal, it’s obviously natural to her and I’m pretty sure there was no need for autotune on this recording, I imagine live she probably nails it every time! Not only does she compliment Davids musicianship but there is a distinctively British feel to her voice whilst pulling off the authenticity of the blues, genuinely top-notch vocal.
This is a relatively short album made up of 8 tracks but that’s not always a bad thing, better to have less tracks with more substance than the other way round. Theres something for everyone on there (provided you like the blues of course, if you don’t then you may struggle!)
It starts off with ‘It must be love’ a fast, driven track with some really nice Cajun drum style percussion. It’s a story of obsessive love, the kind you just can’t shake, we’ve all been there & its told perfectly by Jenny’s gorgeous delivery
Then we move on to ‘If it was going to happen’ a real stripped back old school blues track with some mad harmonica playing. Oh yes, one think I forgot to mention was the harmonica present throughout the album. For me production wise there could have been a bit more space created for each instrument, some nice reverbs etc, don’t get me wrong the musics not badly recorded it’s just a personal preference.
Then there’s ‘Weekend Thing’ “Monday morning and I’ve still got the blues” “It’s a weekend thing getting out of my mind”, we’ve all been there right? This would be the one you’d all sing along to after a night out, nicely done.
Now I’m a sucker for a ballad so it’s no surprise that “Baby you don’t taste the same” was the stand out track on the album for me. Beautiful vocals, lovely delayed electric guitar with some sparse percussion, stick this on and drift away, nice!
This is followed by ‘Aint it a shame’ a straight up blues number. I feel it could have done with some more work production wise particularly on the guitar and vocals, sounds a bit dry but its a nicely written track and perfectly placed after its more sombre predocessor
‘Better than you’ is another stand out track for me with really nice chord progressions and some really nice intricate fingerpicking from David. Some really nice Mellotron also makes an appearance which is an added bonus. A classic moving on song with some really nicely crafted lyrics
If there was a ‘fun’ track on the album the next song ‘Time Machine’ would be it “He’s just 21 and I’m 24”. It’s an upbeat sing along with some really fun clever lyrics
The album ends with ‘Night Shift Blues’. This track has a more live feel then the rest of the album so it makes sense its the last number. Its got a really nice blues bassline and some cool little vocal ad libs and gives you a feel for what the band can do live.
All in all I was really impressed. The musicianship on this is superb, the songs are well crafted and put together and Jenny’s vocal is rather good indeed. If you like blues music you should definitely check it out and go see these guys live. You can listen to / buy the album using the links below:
Also available on Spotify / Bandcamp and other online stores
Thanks to Jenny and David for sending me the album for review, I hope you have found this blog review enjoyable? Please feel free to leave comments below, it would be great to give the guys & me some feedback?
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