Mitch Laddie is the hot, new, young British Blues slinger, still shy of his twentieth birthday, and this is his debut album on the well respected Provogue label. Like many youngster it was the late Stevie Ray Vaughan who kickstarted his interest in the Blues, followed by the Three Kings: B.B, Freddie and Albert. Naturally, he formed a band - Vanilla Moon - and started playing the covers circuit in his North East of England home, at motorcycle rallies, festivals and pubs.
This was when the lucky break arrived in the shape of one Walter Trout, who encountered young Master Laddie at Colne Municipal Hall in 2006. Walter liked what he heard and invited him to a few other shows and gave him an introduction to Provogue Records. Vanilla Moon became the Mitch Laddie Trio, although the Trio bit seems to have been consigned to history, even if it is still a trio with Vanilla Moon co-founder Lee "Cliffy" Clifford and bass player Rhian Wilkinson.
And they've done alright, although it falls short of the spectacular. As befits a band of youngsters they're much more at home on the uptempo numbers like 'Float On By', where they build up a funky stew, than on the slower numbers which lack a bit of resonance and depth. So it's the funky numbers that you'll come back to, with the likes of 'This Time Around' and 'Miss Supernatural' particularly fine.
The material is made up of ten originals, which definitely show songwriting strength, along with a dreadful cover of 'Papa's got A Brand New Bag' and a much better live rendition of B.B. King's 'Rock Me Baby', which was recorded live with Walter Trout's band at the Opera House in York. However, and it's a big however, young Master Laddie is definitely going to have to work on his vocals, which are, generally, too lightweight for the material. But, hey, he's a mighty fine guitarist, so maybe he should think about getting a helping hand.