This week we have been on a mission, based on a conversation we had at Skegness Rock & Blues a few weeks back. Our mission is to find a song that sums up the blues for us. Not a favourite all timer, nor a notable blues standard, but a reference point. A track that says “this sums up the blues for me”, for someone that asks at a garden party. That is a big ask for one song, and to be fair we don’t think we are completely there. But we got pretty close, and in our search we came across the Starlite Campbell Band. They have a pretty neat track and album that suits our need for a Track Of The Week.
Starlite Campbell Band
The Starlite Campbell Band is a project band formed by Suzy Starlite and Simon Campbell, Starlite the bassist and Campbell on guitars. The duo had been touring and recording separately for many years before they met in 2012, when Starlite asked Campbell to play guitar in her band. Their relationship extended beyond music and they married in 2014, before forming the Starlite Campbell Band in 2016. The pair are joined by Steve Gibson a well known touring drummer and and Jonny Henderson on the Hammond Organ.
The band released Blueberry Pie in 2017, a superb strong offering and remarkably different from current British Blues sounds. While the album is very mellow in places, it is far from dreary, bleak or gloomy – a trap that others have fallen into. The rockier tracks do not lift the mood, the album comes with its own atmosphere, or theme. One that requires a stiff drink, not in order to enjoy, but as an accompaniment. Starlite and Campbell share vocals throughout, although only “duetting” on the title track Blueberry Pie and Empire.
I asked Suzy Starlite earlier in the week about the album:
“Simon and I co-wrote ‘Blueberry Pie’ which is described as a fresh taste of British Blues. The opening song ‘Walkin’ Out The Door’ flowed really naturally when we were writing the album at our Supertone Residential Recording Studio in Valencia, Spain and was written and finished in around twenty minutes. I love the groove of this song and when we play live, it’s never the same twice as Simon improvises with his Echoplex which really adds to the soundscape and tension of the song – great fun!”
Walkin’ Out The Door
The first thing you think when you start is Green Onions by Booker T and the M.G.’s. However this is no rip-off job, far from it. The bass from Starlite is flowing beautifully, fitting in perfectly with the drums and the Hammond. Campbell’s guitar is only utilised sparingly in the early exchanges of the song, coming in with full force around the two minute mark with some delicate licks. This song is a standard-setter for the album, Campbell’s vocals accompany the rhythm well, a class act in himself.
Walkin’ Out The Door gets the album off to a cracking start, although it loses no steam as it produces a number of belters including Guilty with Starlite on vocals. Blueberry Pie is essential for anyone who appreciates good quality British produce. That sounds like a supermarket advert?! Apologies, but we meant what we said. The album earned the band a nomination for a European Blues Award last year in the Best Album/Recorded Session category. We have to say the nomination was amongst very good company but was thoroughly deserving.
So no second thoughts were required when putting them forward for Track Of The Week, and we strongly lean on you to go out and buy Blueberry Pie in whatever form you prefer. For now check out Walkin’ Out The Door below on Spotify and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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