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Happy Hosting, Happy New Year - Rob Ellen
With a name you might expect to encounter on a trip through the southern States, and a set of electric blues, gospel, soul and Americana that seems strongly rooted in tradition, you could be forgiven for entirely not suspecting that Wily is actually from Glasgow – there may be 21 towns with the name in the USA, but yes, Wily’s from the one in Scotland, even if he is based in London (England) these days. ‘Chattahoochee Coochee Man’ romps out of the blocks at full-pelt, before he eases into Fenton Robinson’s classic ‘Loan Me A Dime’, and these two set a fine tone for the rest of this very interesting album. Plenty of Wily’s own brand of blues and then there’s the gentle plea of ‘Motel Blues’ with its dobro and mandolin, the New Orleans inspired sound of ‘Did I Forget’, the Santana-flavoured ‘Walking With The Devil’, and the classic Joe Cocker styled ‘Long Way To Heaven’, with Wily’s growl backed by The Brown Sisters Of Chicago Gospel Choir and a dissolute Tom Waits’ alcohol-infused blues sound on the closing ‘Light At The End Of The Tunnel’. In fact, if you go for Tom, you’ll definitely go for this CD.
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