One time Boy Of The Lough, the now 64 year old Mike Whellan might have been forgiven for thinking that his chance passed him by 30 years ago when fate picked up on Aly Bain and Dick Gaughan for the fame stakes, but maybe her fickle hand was just biding her time. Because here he comes again, one part Big Bill Broonzy, one part Sleepy John Estes and one part Border bagpipes.
Aided and abetted by a handful of guests, the self proclaimed one man Blues band kicks up a real storm on what is nominally an acoustic Blues album. When he gets his boogie rolling then it's just about the best time you can have while staying within the bounds of decency. Splitting things up between originals and covers, he takes a crack at tunes by John Lee Hooker, Blind Willie Johnson, Rory Gallagher and that well known Blues man, Trad Arr. But it say a lot for Mr Whellans that originals like the title track, 'Early In The Morning' and 'Lonesome Road' sit quite comfortably alongside 'The Boogie Man', 'Nobodys Fault But Mine', 'Going To My Home Town' and 'Worried Mind'.
The one man band takes care of guitar, harmonica, drums and vocals, but assorted members of Scots folk legends The Battlefield Band show a hitherto unseen affinity for the Blues, although whether the Blues is quite ready for the bagpipes that appear on 'Pinetop Moon' is quite another matter! Guitar legend David Bromberg also pops in to play a solo on his own 'Danger Man II', but was spared the shock of a visit to Galashiels, courtesy of the internet. The newly converted Seasick Steve fans should make this top notch treat their next discovery and I can't recommend it highly enough.