At last the long awaited first album from Glasgow alt-country prophets the Scuffers hits the street. Produced by Danny Mitchell and recorded as near to live as could be done, Bluesbunny actually ran across Glasgow to procure a promo copy.
Now that we have, what have we to report? Well, Gavin "King Gav" Wallace has certainly established himself as a songwriter of repute. 11 tracks and not a dud amongst them is quite an achievement. There is a warmth and humanity to his lyrics that give out hope to all who listen. In other words, he is up there with the best of the country genre. "Bigger and Weaker" reflects on life and learning to accept your fate. "Going with the Flow" is a laconic and indeed somewhat mournful take on getting through the day. Curiously, when you hear it performed live, this song seems more of an anthem to triumphing over adversity but the recorded version seems a whole lot darker. There are crowd pleasers here too of course. "Holler" is good old fashioned hoe down to get the drink flowing and the toes tapping. "Those Lovesick Blues" could well be the Scuffer's theme tune. It is just one of those songs that stick in your mind and unless you have lived in a cupboard all your life, it will strike a chord with you. At the risk of cliché, the best has been saved for last. "The Last Dance" is a perfect piece of pure sentiment. All the great country singers know that you need a tear jerker in your set. Something that will get a grown man crying in his beer and "The Last Dance" is one of those songs.
This warm and enjoyable debut CD is now available to purchase. All their best songs are here (well almost all as Bluesbunny had hoped that "Here's to the Days" would have made the final cut) and they are performed with the conviction and diligence that you would expect. Gavin Wallace's voice seems considerably softer and, dare we say it, more American than we would have expected. New addition to the group Sara Cull's vocals are suitably harmonious. The verdict? The Scuffers march on victorious.