LABEL: Ruf Records
Review by: Alan Holloway
It's not at all surprising if, when you hear the name "Spin Doctors", you bring to mind their horrendously cool and catchy 90s anthem "Two Princes". I did, anyway, and as such was looking forward to a bright, breezy comeback album. I did not get this, but blow me down if I didn't get something just as cool, but totally different in musical direction.
It seems that the Spin Doctors started out as a bloooooze band. Not a little blues, but full on Robert Johnson sitting on a porch style blues, the sort that comes with a harmonica made out of someone's bones and a pact with the devil. So what the lads have done is stamp on the 'rewind' button, back to teh days when they would play blues bars, throwing out their own material rather than covers and challenging the punters to tell the difference.
I've got to say that they've done a great job with the guitar souns here, with the solos flowing out of the speakers like they were found in a hundred year old tin bucket, dusted down a bit and stuck on disc. This is down and dirty blues, with vocalist Chris Barron showing a certain flair for the style of music. There's a real sense that they absolutely loved making this album, something from the heart rather than the wallet.
If you love a good bit of classic blues, you should adore this, as the songs are melodic enough to keep casual listeners happy, and low down enough to keep true blues afficianados happy as well.All in all, "The River Was Whiskey" is a very pleasant surprise from a band many (including me) were lost toi the mists of time.
Offcicial Site: http://www.spindoctors.com/