On my office days, I generally leave for work at 5:15 am (for my 2.5-hour drive). Needless to say, it takes a pretty strong playlist to keep me sufficiently revved up not only for the drive but also for the workday ahead. So, one recent morning I decided to try out some blues to banish the early morning fog. My choice that morning? TG Swampbusters’ latest album, “Swamp Rock Country Blues.”
“Honky Tonk Song,” the first track from the Hamilton-based blues band, began with a few slow opening bars, but it quickly ramps up into a toe-tapping barnbuster of a blues tune. By the album’s third song, “One Hundred Proof Blues,” all ten of my fingers and my non-driving foot were tapping in the car, and I knew I’d found a winner.
The album is precisely what it’s advertised to be: swampy, rocking blues with a hint of country and more than a touch of swagger. Guitarist/singer Tim Gibbons (the TG of the group’s name), who also penned all twelve songs, utilizes his gritty, growly guitar sound to its fullest throughout the album; one of my favorite examples is “Whiskey Woman,” which begins quietly enough with a riff of just two power chords but builds up into a fever pitch of crunchy six-string goodness. And in case you think electric guitar is the only weapon in Gibbons’ arsenal, the album closes with an equally bluesy, equally wonderful acoustic song, “She Gave Me the Blues.”
If you like your blues served hot with a side of clever lyrics (listen to “She Always Ate Her Crackers in Bed” as an example), TG Swampbusters’ “Swamp Rock Country Blues” may have precisely the right recipe for you. I can certainly attest to the album’s effectiveness as turnpike music – it’s a great accompaniment for an early morning trip, so much so that you might not even need coffee!