DRIVING IN THE RAIN
The Baddest Blues Band (Ever!)
PROPERGANDA MAGAZINE- Aug/Sep 2010 - KS
Zoe Schwarz and Rob Koral are in the driving seat here. Hey wrote most of the songs that Zoe sings in a grainy style that hovers somewhere between Bonnie Raitt and Elkie Brooks while Rob plays the cracking guitar lines that permeate every track.
They are supported by Pete Whittaker and Stephen Darrell Smith, who share swirling seething Hammond duties, and harmonica player Si Genaro, who is just as happy sliding in with wistful moans on the ballads as he is whacking out on the rocking R&B epics. Add the tight rhythm section of drummer Dave Wallace and bassist Malcolm Creese and you've got a world class band confident enough to take on Cream's We're Going Wrong and get away with it!
Driving In The Rain isn't a traditional blues record because the band takes its references from all over the place, missing jazzy themes with funky beats sliced with Latin Santana-style licks.
Blues Matters Issue 52 - January 2010 - Stuart A. Hamilton
The Baddest Blues Band (Ever!) - that's some claim! I've heard some shockingly bad blues bands in my time and was even in one of them. Unless, of course, they're using the colonial hippity hop patois, and bad is supposed to be good. In which case, it's an even bigger claim. Sadly, or fortunately, neither of these claims is true. So, I'm just grateful that they turn out to be a good Blues band, albeit not the 'goodest'. They get kudos for being a British Blues band putting out original material, mainly written by vocalist Zoe Schwarz and guitarist Rob Koral, something that is a bit of a rarity. They're better at sprightly numbers like 'Broken Heart Blues' and 'Too Much Of A Good Thing' than they are at slow Blues, and they have put some thought into the arrangements with splashes of Hammond organ, and the harmonica embellishments of Si Genaro were always welcome. The sound doesn't really leap out of the speakers. But they did lay down all fourteen tracks in tow days, The more you play it, the more you get drawn into their John Lee Hooker inspired 'Im In The Mood', and the bouncy shuffle of 'Let Me Sing The Blues'. They finish off with a live version of 'I Can't Quit You Babe', which rounds off what turned out to be a good, if not the baddest album.
Blues In Britain - December 2009 - Christian Sturgess
Driving In The Rain is the second CD from rock-fuelled blues six-piece The Baddest Blues Band (ever!), and they certainly present this image well. The album, which features 15 tracks, for me brings back some routes of blues music that I have not heard recently. The classic sound of a rotary organ underneath a harmonica solo section can go a long way, not to mention the solid rhythm section. Songs such as 'Driving In The Rain' and 'Buck'' are strong evidence of the bands ability to write classic bluesy tones and grooves, whilst 'You're Not Alone' is slower and more ballad like. This kind of diversity in song writing adds more character to an album, especially one so routed in the classic blues sound. This is a very well rounded album, which is able to combine rock and blues elements with great guitar ability. You can really tell this band understand each other, and perfectly complement the vocal talent of Zoë Schwarz who, in the midst of their strong sound puts the perfect cherry on top. Rating:7