A compilation of blues bands hailing from Scotland might not seem like a cause for celebration but, when you think about it, there hasn’t been much else to celebrate about this country’s musical endeavours of late. “Jock’s Juke Joint” , in its own heartfelt way, celebrates the ability of Scottish bands to convincingly sound like they are from somewhere else.
For, if you hadn’t seen the cover, you might well assume that hose bands were from some city or cities in the good old US of A and only Black Diamond Express with “Never Was A Lass So Fair” actually manage to season their musical offerings with celtic flavouring. Atmospheric and laconically sung, this is the most impressive track here. Kudos are also due, however, to the not very blues like at all “Dear John” from Dougie Burns who seems influenced more by Scotland’s bedsit power pop culture – now there’s a genre long overdue for a compilation - than anything else.
Of the rest, you can’t fail but to be impressed by the ever and forever wondrous Lynsey Dolan as she dances the dance of the lost and lonely in “Do Right Man”. You won’t go far wrong with the fast moving and grooving “Fighting Over You” by The Kennel Wages either. It’s a rock ‘n’ roll thing but it don’t mean a thing if you don’t have the axe.
So there you have it – an album of generally reverential and respectful takes by Scottish bands on the blues. If you get it, you’ll like it.