Title - 'Miracle Of Healing'
Artist - Andy Gunn
Scottish bluesman, Andy Gunn has covered a great deal of ground during his recording career; one that has seen him record with his band, Jumpin’ The Gunn for Virgin’s Point Blank outlet. Having grown up on the sound waves of artists such as Muddy Waters and Lightnin’ Hopkins, amongst others, he has now self-released his fourth (and best, for my money) album, Miracle Of Healing.
Following on from Flip Flop Kinetics, Bonar Bridge Sessions and Regional Variations, this brand new album combines a better understanding of the Blues lovingly combined with R&B, Rock, and even a delicate scattering of Folk tones also. Co-Produced by Martin Stephenson (acoustic guitar, percussion), and with Neil Harland (electric bass guitar), Kate Stephenson (drums), John Steel (keyboards), Stevie Smith (electric, acoustic blues harmonica), Jim Hornsby (dobro) and Malcolm MacMasters (pedal steel guitar) plus backing singers Jo Hamilton, Susanna Wolfe and Miriam Campbell, Miracle Of Healing is one of the best albums you might never get to hear this decade!
As the album opens up on some beautiful, flowingly seamless funky guitar work on 'Are We Thru?' ("Oh baby, you'll miss me when you're gone"), combined with some major harmonica work, that ebbs perfectly into both 'Black Heart' and the slow-burner 'Beyond The Open Door.' And yes, just three tracks in and you know full well you're in for a very special listening experience.
The sweet guitar picking, once more combined with the devoted harmonica playing on 'Brighter Days' is yet another stand out track here, and that is followed by the gentleness of 'Freedom Reality,' 'Harmony Of One,' and the ethereal 'Hold On.' With a major shout out to the aforementioned backing trio of Jo Hamilton, Susanna Wolfe and Miriam Campbell, the album is definitely rounded out by their combined underscored, sometimes breathy vocals, that's for damn sure.
The Mark Knopfler-esque 'Planting The Seeds' is next, and showcases yet another vocal styling from Gunn, before he knuckles down for both the gentle rambling of the title tack 'Miracle Of Healing,' before getting back to the Blues basics on 'Trouble Women.' For my money, Gunn is truly at his best on these kind of tracks, where he allows his guitar to rock out alongside the harmonica playing of Stevie Smith. The moody funk of Gunn keeps rolling on through to the last track on the album, the somber opus, 'Road That Leads Back Home,' which, aptly enough, takes this album musically full circle.
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