CD Review – Spike Drivers – Front Porch Swing
Scratch Records – CD 300110
8 out of 10
The Spike Drivers have long been a popular live draw, and this release shows why.
The three-piece of guitarist Ben Tyzack, bassist Constance Redgrave and drummer Maurice McElroy all sing and cover some genres over the two CDs of this collection. The release features songs by Fred McDowell, JJ Cale, Jimmy Reed, Taj Mahal, and Jagger and Richards, as well as their own distinctive songs. The close harmony singing on songs such as “You got to Move” and “One Way Gal” show a lot of care has gone into what they do, and the musicianship is of a more advanced level. The guitar playing of Ben Tyzack, in particular, is technically adept without being flashy, able to accompany himself on his own compositions “Beyond a Silver Moon” and leading from the front of the other instrumentals “Diddly Goat Pot” and “Urban Love Boogie”.
Strong support comes from Constance Redgrave and Maurice McElroy, although each is also given their own time in the spotlight, with their own songs, which are a good mix with the rest of the evening’s music. The audience is shown to be attentive to the music, respectfully listening until they are allowed to show their appreciation. The recording is of usually high quality for a live recording and is the next best thing to hearing them live. For fans of quality blues, jazz and acoustic music in general, this is worth much further investigation.