Richard Studholme: "......zoned" (Great Britain 2005)

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1) Latenight Part 1
2) Please Please Please
3) You Can't Catch Me
4) Buzzin'
5) Rain Down Tears
6) Bar Room Life
7) Temperature
8) Paycheck To Paycheck
9) Havana Moon
10) 47 Pontiac
11) Strange Affair
12) Latenite Part 2
SEK 159:-

Quoted from the U.K. 'Blues In Britain' (formerly 'Blueprint') magazine

Richard Studholme - …Zoned!
Tone Zone 0010
The British blues scene is greatly indebted to Richard Studholme. You see, up to somewhere around the mid-eighties, it was generally accepted that US bluesman plus UK band was at best a necessary evil, at worst an unmitigated disaster. As guitarist and bandleader, Richard helped change all that; his classy support for the likes of, plucking names from memory of random, unheralded harp ace Bill Dicey, Hubert Sumlin, Mojo Buford, Lefty Dizz, Carey Bell, Lowell Fulson, the late Lucky Lopez, and Larry Johnson, live or on record, set new standards for other to aspire to - and the current increased respect for and appreciation of the UK blues scene is witness to his success.

The man himself has hardly been prolific though, to this set of originals and covers is extremely welcome. As befits the label name, on first listening it is the immaculate guitar tone that impresses, totally appropriate for whatever the song demands. Appreciation for the conciseness of the playing comes in its wake, as does being impressed by the fine unaccented vocals and admiration for the songwriting and choice of covers, including a couple of less obvious Chuck Berry numbers.

Though there is a fluctuating personnel throughout, Studholme is backed by such long-time associates as bassist Andy Pyle and drummer Steve Thorneycroft; however, some measure of the esteem in which Richard is held can be gauged from the guests he attracts, including slide guitar maestro Roger Hubbard, harpman Steve Weston, Ian Jennings on bass and Hammond organist Bruce Katz. As I hope is clear, it is only what Studholme deserves. He also deserves a lot - and I mean a lot - of credit for such a well-crafted album as this.

Rating: 9
Norman Darwen