To be honest, Michael Hornbuckle is not a name I’m familiar with but on the basis of this release that is my loss. The album is really rather fine.

He seems to come from a Blues family and you can really hear the wealth of styles in his sound that come from being brought up with a Blues guitarist father (Michael was drumming for his dad from age 13) and bass player brother.
Opening with a softer number ‘Baby Rock’ you are immediately hit by the quality of his vocal and the complex rhythm of the number – he has a lot of soul in his voice, as does the backing vocals. |The lead solo is beautifully judged.
‘Back Seat To The Blues’ follows with a rollicking piano and organ boogie. Fairly standard Blues but with real verve and again a strong vocal.

He shows a sensitive side as well on ‘Candle For Mary’. Darker and more impassioned, it has a lovely guitar line and the best vocal on the album.
My personal favourite is the funk laden ‘One Night’ – this could almost be Royal Southern Brotherhood territory
The title track is a real belter. Heavy riff and swirling Hammond, it just grabs and takes you along a mean street of Soul/Blues.

Every track has its own identity and could easily stand alone but all together they give a picture of a very accomplished artist with strong skills and real understanding of the form. This isn’t a groundbreaker but it is a fine statement of a life in the Blues.

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