Album review: .44 Pistol – Live At The Vaults

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Hailing from Stafford, electric blues trio .44 Pistol are back with their second album Live At The Vaults.

With live albums often a back-up plan for artists stuck in a creative rut, looking to milk fans dry, is this the case for the trio who released their debut album Served Raw back in 2011?

The answer is a resounding ‘no.’

The album was recorded in their local pub, The Market Vaults in Stafford, and listeners will get the vibe from the get-go that with .44 Pistol there are no gimmicks involved and they just want to rock your socks off.

You are instantly hit with the feeling of intimacy as opener Help Me kicks in.

Lead by devilishly catchy harmonica playing, frontman Pete Wearn howls, seemingly oblivious to the presence of drummer Mick Askey and guitarist Jim Jones who together deliver pulsating rhythms and tantalising blues licks throughout – none more so than during Salvation, before the country foot-stomper of a track Got Love If You Want It breezes into town with a whirlwind of riffs.

It is clear .44 Pistol wear their influences on their sleeves, taking American blues legend Big Joe Williams’ Baby Please Don’t Go to another level with an inspired guitar solo that warms the cockles.

The trio’s dynamic take on blues goes country, as the dirty groove of Born In Borderlands makes way for the irresistible Shake Your Moneymaker.

Pete Wearn’s voice has an abundance of soul and at times sounds like a man starved of the success that belonged to a bygone era as Got My Mojo Working gloriously drenched in blues, complete with backing vocals to boot signs off in a ferocious manner.

.44 Pistol provide the feel good music, that blues fans will love, harking back to the days of the 50s.

This is no nonsense, unadulterated blues, nothing more, nothing less.

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