The Blues Of Tombstone Dunnery – Vol. 1: Album Review

Former It Bites man Francis Dunnery in new guise – finally waking up to blues, blues and more blues…

Release Date: Available now

Label: Francis Dunnery Music

Format: digital / CD

Francis Dunnery’s It Bites – FD has just celebrated a tremendous live release on the back of a successful tour reliving some of the finest Pop/Rock of the eighties. However, the likes of Luke Machin and Peter Jones take a breather while Francis heads to the crossroads and gathers a new crew to accompany him on a new journey.

Nergal from Behemoth has done it. Shifting the goalposts and swapping his dark Satanic Metal robes for a cowboy hat and boots in Me & That Man – very successfully we might add – it’s almost like his New Man, New Songs, Same Shit album title applies here. You can attach some blame to Robert Plant in whose band Francis played for three years – “he knows everything about the Blues,” says Francis, namechecking Robert Johnson, BB King Muddy Waters and the legends of the genre who have guided his own journey.

Writing about twenty blues songs in three days, the spirit poured from FD, yet his belief is that he can’t lay claim to any of them as they’re so influenced by what’s gone before. “You can’t really change the blues,” he says, “but just add your own emotion.” Left Me With The Blues opens the set with a prime example. Woman leaves man, taking possessions (money, children, coffee, furniture, clothes, property, absolutely everything) and leaving him with nothing but the solace of the blues. Although judging by the sound of the swinging soul fire, he’s not overly bothered to be truthful. He’s written, arranged and produced a dozen songs in the Blues style which show his versatility.

And from the brassy opening, we swiftly follow Tombstone through a lesson and demonstration in Bluesology with the expected emphasis on emotion-denched guitar played with suitable angst over signature Blues grooves. The emotion he speaks of comes in spades via his vocal, his guitar and a smoking hot band who buy into the philosophy. Sharp suited and ready to head off on solo piano or brass/woodwind excursions, the passion in the bvs from Deanne Blazey ensure the soul remains high profile.

The good time blues on Take My Joy Away and Don’t You Cry are pure danceworthy tunes and offer a bright alternative to some of the lengthier workouts where the guitar is allowed its head. The Town Where Nobody Feels and The Comeback Boy both giving FD space to build his Blues credentials. You’d never have guessed he had it in him.

Francis might well be out in the latest batch of It Bites fuelled dates next year, but in the meantime, thank the Lord for giving birth to the hellfire of Tombstone Dunnery.

Francis Dunnery online: Official Website / Facebook / X (formerly Twitter) / Youtube

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