The other week we reviewed SoD’s latest album Music For Cop Shows, which is good, but we made a couple of points with which he disagreed, and he contacted us over Twitter. To call him grumpy would be like calling Donald Trump orange; it might be an act and he might well be sat at home stroking kittens, but he was entertainingly curmudgeonly and took us to task for never having heard of him before. As recompense we bought some of his back catalogue, adding to his copious royalties.
This was the first we played and it’s a belter (from 2016). It’s packaged like one of those old cheap hits albums and sub-titled “13 hits by other artists you will love even more now”. That is 100% correct.
Before playing, you need the scene setting: Son of Dave is a one-man blues band. He sings, shakes a shaker, plays the harmonica and performs as a beatbox. This means the sound is stripped down and basic, but has a good, bluesy groove.
Opening song is Black Betty, made famous by Lead Belly and recently (well, 40 years ago) the Ram Jam Band, whose cover is probably on many a dad-rock driving-in-the-car CD. SoD captures the spirit of the song perfectly, from the opening harmonica to gravelly vocals. Instead of guitars, he offers kick drum and beatbox.
Shake Your Hips follows, originally by Slim Harper but covered by the Stones on Exile. Dave lays down a hypnotic beatbox bassline for this one, which knocks spots off Jagger’s version.
It’s not all blues: War’s Low Rider follows, and if you don’t think it can be improved by falsetto vocals and “Del Boy” car horns, you’d be wrong.
Rudimental’s pop/drum ‘n’ bass Not Giving In shifts to being a thoughtful blues tune.
SoDs’s earthy approach means that even when he veers in the direction of those bands offering jokey covers of hits (hillbilly covers of Van Halen anyone?), he still turns in a good tune, such as with Pump Up The Jam and Whole Lotta Rosie.
The least effective cover is possibly Lust For Life, possibly because Iggy Pop is even more bonkers than Son of Dave.
A good CD for the car: sing along to songs you know the words to, delivered in a radically different and fresh way.