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The Blind Dead McJones Band

The Blind Dead McJones Band first entered the spotlight whilst playing with the blues legend that gave the group their name. Tired of his absence and excuses, they set off to the studio without him, and emerged with their record Back To School Blues. The distinctive gravelly tones of now-vocalist Ben Buddy Slack compels audiences to keep listening, and make this album stand out from others of the genre.

Hang On There Boys sets the tone for the EP, made up of excuses the band were given for Blind Dead McJones’ repeated nonattendance. Light drum riffs keep the track moving, whilst heavy guitars resound throughout vocal refrains. A virtuoso solo completes the track, instantly showcasing what the band is capable of.

Today Was A Good Day exemplifies more typical blues characteristics, opening with an instrumental call-and-response. Rasping vocals again resonate across skilful instrumental performances.

Tired is a stand-out track from the EP; laid back performances and memorable refrains make the song comfortable on the ears. Toned down tempos and relaxed melodies leave the listener untroubled and at ease.

Haunted picks up the speed, returning again to a more traditional rock blues format. Percussion groves and guitar riffs repeat along with a simple-yet-affective vocal line. A middle eight section allows the band to show off the talent they possess, before returning to the rhythmic structure of before.

Good Scratch Boogie showcases the group at their best; riffs and refrains, instrumentals and expert performances all combine to make one catchy and universally appealing song. Tempo changes serve to keep the track at the forefront of listeners attention, where indeed it deserves to be.

Back To School Blues, as the albums title track, culminates the EP. Now-familiar vocals force out lyrics and compel audiences to listen as the track begins, whilst once again dazzling instrumental solos demand attention as they resound through speakers. The majority of this track allows the band to do what they do most successfully, and that is play together.

Back To School Blues is an EP that even Blind Dead McJones himself had to commend. For The Blind Dead McJones Band, this is the start of a whole new chapter, and one that will no doubt prove to be successful.

Jess Goodman

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