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MARK CAMERON BAND – Live At Blues On The Chippewa (Cop Records LPM-1678)


Minneapolis based singer, guitarist, songwriter and bandleader Mark Cameron started out playing folk-rock in the 70s, but for many years he has focussed on the blues. He has been building a solid reputation, particularly over the last couple of years. The Mark Cameron Band is a five piece, with the leader’s strong and flexible vocals backed by the expected line-up of guitar, harmonica, bass and drums (Cameron, Bill Keyes, Scott Lundberg and Dan Schroeder respectively) augmented by Sheri Cameron on sax, flute, percussion and backing vocals adding a distinctive touch. This set came about when the bassist pointed out as the band were setting up for this gig that the microphones being used were very high quality, so Mark asked if the band could record the show. The result is a fine modern blues CD, plenty of good-timing sounds and the occasional slower deep blues number, with a sense of humour creeping in from time to time (try ‘Dicey’). The set’s only cover version is Howling Wolf’s ‘Killing Floor’, close enough to the original to prove that these guys can function as a traditional blues band (kudos especially to Cameron for his full-throated singing and to harpman Keyes) but different enough to show they have their own ideas; the acoustic driven ‘Done Me Wrong’ also shows a fine traditional approach. The set closes out with a couple of nicely rocking items in ‘Rusty Old Model T’ and ‘Back Seat Boogie’. Yes, I did enjoy this a lot…

Norman Darwen


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March 2018

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