Sunday, 27 September 2009

Stephen Dale Petit - Guitararama

“The reason I’m on the planet is to play Blues Guitar,” so says the ‘New Blues Revolution’ leader, Stephen Dale Petit.

It is clear that this man feels he has been put here with a job to do and as the opening sequence to ‘Sacramento’ squeaks to life, you can’t really argue.

Petit speaks gratefully of his influences (which are all visible in this neatly woven concoction of blues and rock) which date back to when the blues started to shape music as we know it today, from the likes of Tampa Red, Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters to his favourite bands such as Cream, Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones (all of which also drew upon the aforementioned trend setters.)

‘Guitararama’ is Stephen Dale Petit’s debut album and is a record that was funded entirely from busking around the London Underground. The Californian born guitarist used to rack up 20 deep crowds of all ages and backgrounds while jamming out what he himself calls ‘New Blues.’ This is certainly raw and stripped down blues at its best, and the fact that this album was created due to public demand is just something else.

The 49 year old blues maestro is a different breed of guitarist and nails down licks, raucous riffs and fine solo struts in an album that is mostly instrumental. From the free styling groove of ‘Surf City W10’ (which could crack a grin on even the most ‘X Factor’ ridden powder puff) to the haunting re-working of Bill Whithers’ ‘Aint No Sunshine’, the guitar credentials are in no way questionable and neither is the vibe.

The first clear trace of a vocal comes 14 songs in with ’10 Year Blues’ and they add another element of excellence and his voice fits the calming backdrop and new elements to his sound, although they’re only on show for the first two and a half minutes of this five minute epic, it’s a welcome change.

It’s clear to see that Stephen Dale Petit is up there with the best and his guitar ability somewhat endless, the end result leaves ‘Guitararama’ in a league of glowing prowess and if you’re into your blues, this is a must have.

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