CD Review – Sandi Thom “Flesh and Blood”
Stone the Crows! Sandi rocks the Blues
This is Sandi Thom’s fourth album in 7 years and you can draw a bloodline straight through the first three to get to FLESH AND BLOOD. Speaking of bloodlines, the young Scots singer appears to have picked up the dusty baton that Maggie Bell once ferociously clutched to her chest.
Neatly mixing songs by Sonny Boy Williamson II, Buffy St. Marie and Leadbelly with her own heartfelt musings, Sandi Thom has created an album that just might blast her into the musical Stratosphere.
FLESH AND BLOOD gets a kick start with Sonny Boy II’s Help Me and it is chock full of the most blues-wailin’ harmonica solos and beefy guitar licks I’ve heard in years and couple that with Ms Thom’s warm throaty vocals you just know you are onto a winner.
In the Pines probably owes more to the Unplugged version that Nirvana performed on TV. The Scottish singer puts her heart, Soul and lungs into every verse but still loses none of Leadbelly’s original subtlety. Of her own songs, Sun Comes Crashing Down and I See the Devil in You prove what a great Blues meets Soul voice Sandi Thom has, as the Black Crowes’ Rich Robinson builds a sound around her vocals that George Martin would be proud of.
The Big Ones Get Away is a lot quieter than the rest of the tracks on the album and features a wonderful duet with Buffy St. Marie who originally wrote the track.
Staying with the slower second half of the album, Love You Like a Lunatic is a really deep Soulful love song – and certainly ranks as one of her best ever.
The album ends with Lay Your Burden Down which begins with a single soft drum beat and a Hammond organ supporting Sandi as she pours her heart out. Then a spine-tingling guitar takes the song onto a whole other level before we go back to the organ and simple drum beat to the fade, making it a very clever and beautiful song. FLESH AND BLOOD is the classiest Blues Rock album I’ve heard in years.