Little Axe: If You Want Loyalty Buy a Dog (On U/Southbound)

 |   |  <1 min read

Little Axe: Grace
Little Axe: If You Want Loyalty Buy a Dog (On U/Southbound)

Guitarist Skip McDonald (aka Little Axe) and On-U Sound producer Adrian Sherwood team up once again for an album which exists at the interface of old blues and contemporary dub, and with just enough gospel sensibility (and Nyabinghi drumming on I Got da Blues) to give a spiritual dimension to its innate earthiness.

Back in 2006 the Little Axe album Stone Cold Ohio was one of the Best of Elsewhere for that year and the more recent Bought For a Dollar, Sold For a Dime was also impressive (although at the time I noted its 21st century blues/reggae suffered in the comparison with the earlier album).

That assessment remains the same with this album which -- over the 14 song, 55 minute run -- explores the same deep blues furrow where the spirits of John Lee Hooker, Lead Belly, Howlin' Wolf and Mississippi John Hurt are unearthed and cloaked in slightly spooky dub effects (with great drumming by former Roots Radic Style Scott).

But the mood rarely varies and despite some songs which do leap out (I Got da Blues, the Spanish-like acoustic colourings in Call It What You Like, the airy Ain't Goin' Down, the ambient spook-blues dub of National Style) this one seems too content with its references and genre-identification for it to be truly gripping or even diverting.

Like the sound of this? Then check out this.

Share It

Your Comments

Nigel Horrocks - Jan 16, 2012

This has been my favourite summer /holiday album so far. I went back and rediscovered the other Little Axe in my collection as a result and am enjoying that too.

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Okkervil River: The Stage Names (UN Spin)

Okkervil River: The Stage Names (UN Spin)

At his most dramatic, OkkRiver singer Will Sheff sounds like a heavily caffeinated Richard Thompson (the ripping opener Our Life is Not A Movie) or Morrissey with a very nasty attitude (on Unless... > Read more

Luke Haines: Rock and Roll Animals (Cherry Red/Southbound)

Luke Haines: Rock and Roll Animals (Cherry Red/Southbound)

Formerly of Brit-pop band the Auteurs, Luke Haines has pursued film music, writing and interesting conceptual albums, and been the subject of a novel, a comic book and a doco. For this album... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

AMY WINEHOUSE: THE BIOGRAPHY 1983-2011 by CHAS NEWKEY-BURDEN

AMY WINEHOUSE: THE BIOGRAPHY 1983-2011 by CHAS NEWKEY-BURDEN

As with many of my acquaintance, when I heard of Amy Winehouse's death it was with mixed emotions: a gloomy sense of the inevitability of it, sadness and then anger. That weird anger we reserve for... > Read more

GUEST WRITER OWEN WOOD sees the writing on the walls

GUEST WRITER OWEN WOOD sees the writing on the walls

At some time in the mid Nineties when I was working in Parnell, there was an open air carpark just off the main road. The back wall was perhaps two storeys high and painted white. One day,... > Read more